The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has by the government been assigned to be responsible for Sweden's involvement in OECD's environmental work.
SEPA participates in eleven working groups linked to the OECD Environment Directorate, in the environmental-economic work such as the OECD's work on climate change, biodiversity, ecosystem services as well as sustainable production and consumption.
The OECD gives an opportunity to have discussions about the environment and the economy without member countries having to commit themselves formally. This provides a good basis for jointly producing new facts and creating a common platform even in controversial areas.
The OECD is a meeting forum for, among others, the U.S., Japan, Mexico, Australia and the majority of EU countries. Important countries with rapidly growing economies such as Brazil, China, Russia, India, Indonesia and South Africa (BRIICS-countries) are often invited to the meetings.
On 4-6 October, the delegates of EPOC met for discussions about EPOCs working program for 2019-2020 both new possible working areas like Green Mobility and Transport, Coastal Zone Management, and Responding to Changes in Biodiversity and Ecosystems and continuous work. A discussion regarding the fourth cycle of Environmental Performance Reviews was also started.
One of the OECD's core activities is to review the countries' policies, including environmental policies. A review means that a country goes over its environmental performance and receives constructive feedback on how this can be more effective. It also gives a chance for the country under review to disseminate its good experience. A review therefore provides support for environmental measures at the national level and can thereby also reduce environmental impact across borders.
In 2013-2014 a new review of Sweden's environmental performance was done - Sweden was reviewed also in 1996 and in 2004.
In the coming years the OECD will be focusing on the analysis of the conditions and ways for continued economic growth without increased pollution and degradation of natural resources.
The OECD has developed a strong expertise in and made fundamental analyses of the interaction between environment and economy. One recent example is the OECD project Aligning Policies for a low carbon economy. This report is produced by OECD in co-operation with the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Transport Forum (ITF) and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). It identifies the misalignments between climate change objectives and policy and regulatory frameworks across a range of policy domains (investment, taxation, innovation and skills, trade, and adaptation) and activities at the heart of climate policy (electricity, urban mobility and rural land use).
The OECD makes analyses of the environmental status of the OECD countries with the outlook on the world in general and with scenarios for future development, based on possible alternatives for the economic and political development. At the OECD Environment Committee's Ministerial Meeting in March 2012 the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 - the Consequences of Inaction (link below) was launched.
In order to identify the benefits of action, a broad assessment of the costs of inaction and resource scarcity and their feedback on economic growth is needed. This will be done in the project Costs of Inaction and Resource scarcity: Consequences of Long-term Economic growth (CIRCLE).
CIRCLE is part of the the OECD organisation-wide reflection process, New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC), aimed at continuous improve the analytical framework and policy advice of OECD. The parts about climate was ready in 2015 and the whole project will be in 2016.
Sweden hosted the forth ad hoc technical expert workshop on CIRCLE, focusing on air pollution, in Stockholm the 24th of May 2016.
The accession review process is ongoing with Colombia, Costa Rica and Lithuania.