Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the environment
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) is an international economic organization composed of 31 member countries committed to democratic government and the market economy. The Organization seeks to support long term economic growth and sustainable development, and to raise living standards, through high employment, financial stability and growth of international trade. The Organization provides a unique forum where governments work together with a long-term view on many public policy issues, compare and exchange experiences and best practices and seek answers to common problems through enhanced global cooperation..
The OECD’s work on the environment focuses on climate change, protection of biodiversity, chemicals management, materials and waste management, resource productivity, environmental indicators, and how the environment can benefit from trade policies and development cooperation. The OECD also seeks to reduce the environmental effects of various industries, including agriculture and transport.
The OECD work on the environment provides high quality data and analytical research to aid in the development of effective environmental policies and programmes at least costs. The OECD also undertakes periodic peer reviews of countries’ environmental performance, encouraging them to continually improve. To assist in the global transition to a low carbon, green economy, the OECD is putting emphasis on implementing the “green” paradigm through the development of a Green Growth Strategy. This Strategy is intended to identify actions to help reduce the climate and environmental impact of economic activities and to support investments in the environment and ecosystems as generators of wealth.
Canada sees numerous positive results and benefits from its participation in OECD activities. For example, the OECD Council Acts on Mutual Acceptance of Data for the assessment of chemicals set the fundamental policies and include the key tools for governments and industry to test the safety of chemical products. This minimizes non-tariff barriers to trade through harmonized policies and instruments and avoids duplicative testing, saving governments and industry significant time and money. Other work on standards facilitates the control of transboundary movements of wastes in view of their recovery. Canada has also translated into its own laws and regulations some of the environmental principles which came to life at the OECD, a key one being the polluter pays principle, and as such our natural environment has benefited and tax payers' money has been saved. Finally, by supporting the liberalization of trade in environmental goods and services, the OECD contributes to the creation of new markets for Canadian environmental technology products.
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