Pensions are a major component of public expenditure, and a target for governments looking to streamline budgets. What are countries doing to manage costs at a time when populations are ageing at an accelerated pace?

©Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Can a durable recovery come from greener growth? That largely depends on the policies. In 2011 the OECD will deliver its Green Growth Strategy. Here are some early pointers.

Anyone who doubts that policy can spur innovation should look at the Kyoto Protocol. After it was adopted in 1997, the number of patents for certain technologies used to mitigate climate change climbed worldwide. In fact, just six years later, the number of patents on wind technologies had grown more than five-fold, and those on solar photovoltaic and hydro/marine technologies had more than doubled. The number of new patents for other climate change mitigation technologies, such as carbon capture, biofuels and geothermal energy also rose, though at a rate that was not much faster than the increase for patents in general over the same period.

Innovation in organisation and management will be needed if sectors are to adjust to new, oil-challenged realities. Supply chains will evolve as a result, notably in transport.

If the transport sector is to make deep cuts in carbon emissions, the carbonintensity of travel must be reduced. For that, policy analysis has to be based on how world markets actually function, and that means understanding what consumers look for when deciding to buy a vehicle, and what drives manufacturers’ decisions too.

European businesses were disappointed with the climate change agreement hammered out in Copenhagen. Here’s one way forward.

©OECD

The current crisis is an opportunity to launch a new economic model, in which the environment, as a pillar of human welfare, must be central.

Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD

When leaders of government, international organisations and civil society from around the world gather for critical discussions at the OECD summit meetings in Paris this June, one question will dominate the agenda: Is enough being done to restore confidence and long-term growth, and break the grip of the worst global crisis of our times?

©Aladin Abdel Naby/Reuters

Environmentally-friendly investments form part of many recently launched recovery programmes. With the right policies, they could achieve growth and a cleaner planet as well.

©Charles Platiau/Reuters

2008 will be a decisive year in the battle against climate change. Hopefully, it will see us forge an international consensus so an agreement can be reached in Copenhagen in 2009 that will allow us to build on the Kyoto Protocol.

We hear again and again that we must choose between having a stable climate and having a strong global economy. This is a false choice.

©David Rooney

Harsh financial reality often rides roughshod over good intentions when it comes to corporate and national balance sheets. Climate change is no exception, for though it may rouse worldwide concern, it also makes people uneasy because of how much it might cost and who should pay.

With the world economy today experiencing turbulence on a number of diverse fronts, OECD countries are preoccupied with meeting these challenges.

The economy has been operating above its estimated production potential, but is expected to decelerate noticeably in the short term as lower external demand and the marked currency appreciation damp activity. Yet growth is likely to rebound quite rapidly once the effects of these international factors disappear. A slowing in commodityprice increases, the federal goods and services tax cut and the stronger Canadian dollar should contribute to a temporary decline in inflation.

Click to enlarge. By Stik, especially for the OECD Observer.

Click to enlarge. By StiK, especially for the OECD Observer.

The smooth introduction of euro banknotes and coins will not guarantee the new currency's economic success. That will depend on structural reforms and completing the European single market. 

Boston Tea Party: Americans throwing cargoes of the tea ships into the River, at Boston, 1773. ©W.D. Cooper

Newness in politics has a long and eventful history. Globalisation and the battle for and against are no exception, as the events of the late 18th century show.

Globalisation has highlighted the need to take a closer look at challenges, from reducing pollution to tightening disease control, whose consequences are shared across the world. But if we are to make best use of such global public goods, we need to understand how they work and how to measure them.

Fears that neither the political will nor the mechanisms exist to combat the problems posed by climate change emerged strongly at a panel on sustainable development and climate change held as part of the OECD Forum 2000 in Paris on Tuesday.

Economic data

GDP growth: +0.6% Q4 2017 year-on-year
Consumer price inflation: 2.3% Mar 2018 annual
Trade: +2.7% exp, +3.0% imp, Q4 2017
Unemployment: 5.4% Mar 2018
Last update: 15 May 2018

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  • The fight against tax evasion is gaining further momentum as Barbados, Côte d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Malaysia, Panama and Tunisia signed the BEPS Multilateral Convention on 24 January, bringing the total number of signatories to 78. The Convention strengthens existing tax treaties and reduces opportunities for tax avoidance by multinational enterprises.
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  • Globalisation’s many benefits have been unequally shared, and public policy has struggled to keep up with a rapidly-shifting world. The OECD is working alongside governments and international organisations to help improve and harness the gains while tackling the root causes of inequality, and ensuring a level playing field globally. Please watch.
  • Read some of the insightful remarks made at OECD Forum 2017, held on 6-7 June. OECD Forum kick-started events with a focus on inclusive growth, digitalisation, and trust, under the overall theme of Bridging Divides.
  • Checking out the job situation with the OECD scoreboard of labour market performances: do you want to know how your country compares with neighbours and competitors on income levels or employment?
  • Trade is an important point of focus in today’s international economy. This video presents facts and statistics from OECD’s most recent publications on this topic.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .
  • Visit the OECD Gender Data Portal. Selected indicators shedding light on gender inequalities in education, employment and entrepreneurship.

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