Statement By OECD-IEA-ITF-NEA For COP21


The world looks to the Paris Conference of the Parties to deliver a new climate agreement that transforms our development pathway. Success at COP21 can drive and accelerate the transition to a cleaner, healthier and more secure future, locking-in sustainable economic growth and development. A low-carbon, climate resilient world by the end of this century is no longer a hope – it is a necessity.

A transformation of the world’s entire economic system is essential to achieving our common climate change, development, economic, and energy security goals. Our economies are hard-wired to fossil fuels. To overcome this carbon entanglement, countries need to implement strong climate policies, including strengthening carbon pricing and eliminating the approximately USD 600 billion of support to fossil fuels provided each year. As our organizations have jointly argued in Aligning policies for a low carbon economy, governments will also need to diagnose and address the policy misalignment across the economy that impede and make this transition more costly.
Decision-makers gathering in Paris for COP21 must send a decisive signal that it is time to move from pledges to action. We need substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades to limit climate risks and this means countries need to greatly accelerate their current emissions-reduction efforts. We need to increase the resilience of our economies, particularly those in least developed and vulnerable countries.
The submission of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) by more than 170 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change covering adaptation actions and emissions reductions beyond 2020 represents a major step forward, but still falls short of the major course correction required to achieve our collective climate goals, as recent IEA* and OECD** studies show. The INDCs must therefore be viewed as an important base upon which to build ambition, making the agreement and decisions that emerge from COP21 even more important.
As well as a credible long-term goal, the success of COP21 will ultimately be judged by its ability to:
  • Generate dynamism and lock in the low-carbon vision through a mechanism for assessing, strengthening and rolling forward mitigation contributions on a regular five-yearly basis.  Emissions need to peak soon and we need to achieve zero net emissions by the end of the century. This will require a portfolio of low-carbon technologies, a firm commitment to driving energy efficiency, and innovation, development and deployment of new technologies and decarbonising transport, which accounts for 23% of global C02 emissions;
  • Enhance resilience and protect the most vulnerable, including through financial and technical support, capacity building and increased energy access. Developed countries must deliver on their commitments to mobilise USD 100 billion a year by 2020 for climate actions by developing countries***;
  • Provide transparency through robust monitoring, reporting and verification that builds understanding of and confidence in countries’ progress towards their mitigation and adaptation targets;
  • Create mutual accountability in terms of the finance, technology and capacity building, including policy reforms and enabling environments that encourage low-carbon, resilient development and investment;
  • Transmit a strong signal to the multitude of non-governmental decision makers – particularly firms, regional governments, cities and the financial sector. They need the confidence to plan and invest profitably if the transition is going to happen.
We need an outcome in Paris that is truly commensurate with the enormity of the challenge we face and the opportunities that lie within our grasp. The OECD, IEA, ITF and NEA are committed to supporting member countries and partners in their determination to make this transition and urge governments to make COP21 a success.