Environmental policy tools and evaluation

OECD Council recommendations


The Organisation's governing body, the Council, has the power to adopt legal instruments, usually referred to as "the OECD Acts". These Acts are the result of the substantive work carried out in the Organisation's Committees. They are based on in-depth analysis and reporting undertaken within the Secretariat and cover a wide range of topics from Anti-Corruption to Tax.

The main types of Acts are Decisions and Recommendations. Other legal instruments are also developed within the framework of the Organisation such as Declarations, Arrangements and Understandings and International Agreements. Access the OECD Legal Acts Database.

2021 Decision of the Council on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations [OECD/LEGAL/0266], amended on 1 January 2021

2016 Recommendation of the Council on Water [C(2016)174/FINAL]

Recommends policy guidance that help address the pressing water issues that central and subnational authorities need to respond to. The Recommendation covers a wide range of issues including water quantity and quality management, the management of water-related risks, governance, and pricing and financing water services and infrastructure. It covers water uses in agriculture, urban water management and related issues.

2010 Recommendation of the Council on Information and Communication Technologies and the Environment [C(2010)61]

Recommends that, in establishing or reviewing their policies for communication technologies and the environment, Members take due account of and implement the principles, which provide a general framework for enhancing the contribution of ICTs to improving environmental performance.

2006 Recommendation of the Council on Good Practices for Public Environmental Expenditure Management [C(2006)84]

Recommends that Member countries take effective measures to ensure that public environmental expenditure programmes are environmentally effective, economically efficient and managed in accordance with sound principles of public expenditure management.

1996 Recommendation of the Council on Improving the Environmental Performance of Government [C(96)39/FINAL]

Recommends that Member countries should develop and apply strategies for continually improving the environmental performance of their governments by integrating environmental considerations into all facets of government operations and facilities, including related decision-making processes.

1992 Recommendation of the Council on Integrated Coastal Zone Management [C(92)114/FINAL]

Recommends that, to help achieve the goals of ecologically sustainable development and integrated resource management, strategic planning and integrated management of coastal zones should be developed, and implemented by Member countries.

1991 Recommendation of the Council on the Use of Economic Instruments in Environmental Policy [C(90)177]

Recommends that Member countries make: i) a greater and more consistent use of economic instruments as a complement or a substitute to other policy instruments such as regulations, taking into account national socio-economic conditions.

1979 Recommendation of the Council on the Assessment of Projects with Significant Impact on the Environment [C(79)116]

Recommends that Member Governments integrate substantive environmental considerations into arrangements for regional and land-use planning, using environmental assessment procedures, into the planning and decision-making process of projects having impact on the environment.

  Recommendation of the Council on Environment and Tourism [C(79)115]

Recommends that Member countries fully integrate environmental considerations, at the earliest possible stage, in their tourism development policies and strategies.

  Declaration on Anticipatory Environmental Policies [C(79)121/ANN]

The Governments of OECD Member countries declare that they will strive to ensure that environmental considerations are incorporated at an early stage of any decision in all economic and social sectors likely to have significant environmental consequences.

  Recommendation of the Council on Coal and the Environment [C(79)117]

Recommends that Member countries, in elaborating policies for expanded coal use, develop or improve environmental protection and control measures with effect from the planning and policy drafting stage in order to achieve integrated environment and energy policies.

1978 Recommendation of the Council on Noise Abatement Policies [C(78)73/FINAL]

Recommends that member countries develop comprehensive noise abatement programmes and co-ordinate existing regulations and actions. In particular Member countries should develop comprehensive laws to cover all noise sources and means of action.

1974 Declaration on Environmental Policy [C/M(74)26/FINAL]

The governments of OECD Member countries declare that the protection and progressive improvement of the quality of the environment is a major objective of the OECD Member countries.

1973 Recommendation of the Council on Measures to Reduce all Man-Made Emissions of Mercury to the Environment [C(73)172/FINAL]

Recommends that the Governments of Member countries should adopt measures to reduce all man-made emissions of mercury to the environment to the lowest possible levels, with particular attention to the elimination of alkyl-mercury compounds.

1972 Recommendation of the Council on Guiding Principles concerning International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies [C(72)128]

Recommends that the Governments of Member countries should, in determining environmental control policies and measures, observe the Guiding Principles Concerning the International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies set forth in the Annex to this Recommendation.

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