OECD Ministerial Council and Forum Focus on the Economics of Climate Change


5 June 20

08: The Organisation for

Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Forum 2008 and the annual

OECD Council at ministerial level considered ‘Climate Change, Growth and

Stability' and ‘Outreach, reform and the economics of climate change,'

respectively, during their meetings in Paris, France, from 3-5 June 2008.

The OECD Forum is a 'multi-stakeholder summit' that brings

together representatives from business, labor, civil society, governments, and

international organizations to discuss key issues on the international agenda.

This year's Forum addressed the role of biofuels, sustainable cities,

innovation and climate change, as well as the relationship between climate

change and other issues including nuclear energy, partnerships and finance. The

OECD ministerial summit discussed the economic impact of climate change, rising

food prices and a broad range of other trade, growth and development


France, represented by Christine Lagarde, Minister

for the Economy, Industry and Employment, chaired the meeting, with Mexico and

Switzerland as Vice-Chairs. On the economics of climate change, Ministers

agreed that each country needs to devise its own comprehensive mix of policies,

depending on national circumstances, but emphasized the importance of

international cooperation. They suggested, inter

alia, that future OECD analysis could: study and compare concrete national

and international policy options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a wide

range of activities; assess the impact of alternative policies on

competitiveness, carbon leakage, financing, technological development and

transfer; and study the economic costs, benefits and distributive aspects of

climate change adaptation and mitigation policies. Many Ministers recognized

that OECD analysis provides valuable inputs to the G8 Summit in Hokkaido, the

climate Conference of Parties (COP) 14 in Poznan, Poland, in December 2008, and

COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009. Ministers also addressed food-price

inflation and its linkages to broader issues such as alternative fuels, climate

change and impacts on distribution of income and growth within economies. They

welcomed the analysis and recommendations of the OECD work on food prices and

the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook, and welcomed further work aimed at

continuing to monitor developments in agricultural markets and promote sound

international policy responses to address the long-term structural factors

driving food prices. [Chair's

summary of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level, Paris, 4-5 June 2008 -

Outreach, Reform and the Economics of Climate Change]