OECD Secretary General Says Current Pledges Fall Short of Reductions Needed

22 April 2010: Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), emphasized that current pledges fall short of the effort needed to curb climate change and discouraged the use of border tax adjustment (BTA) measures during a speech at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Gurria identified the greatest challenges for climate change policy, highlighting that, "the most ambitious of the declared targets by industrialised countries add up to an 18% reduction in their emissions by 2020 (from 1990 levels). This falls short of the 25 to 40% reduction that scientists say is needed to keep the temperature rise to 2°C. We need to increase these targets." He also said building-up a global carbon market will be critical to provide incentives for private finance, and discouraged the use of border carbon adjustement measures. In this respect, he cautioned  that "fears of competitiveness loss and carbon leakage might be exaggerated, and BTAs are unlikely to be an effective means of addressing costs in those rather limited sectors, which might be affected." [Gurria's Speech]