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Environment Policy Committee (EPOC)
Ms. Michelle J. DePASS   
(United States)
Mr. Mikkel AARO-HANSEN   
Ms. Christine Lagarenne   
Mr. Paolo Soprano   
Mr. Naoya TSUKAMOTO   
Mr. Stuart CALMAN   
(New Zealand)
Ms. Martine Rohn-Brossard   
Dr. Mallika ISHWARAN   
(United Kingdom)
Korea, Republic of   
New Zealand   
Czech Republic   
United Kingdom   
United States   
European Commission   
Observers (International Organisations):   
Council of Europe (COE)   
UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD)   
UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)   
UN Environment Programme (UNEP)   
World Bank   
World Health Organization (WHO)   
World Trade Organization (WTO)   
Date of creation:
22nd July 1970
31st December 2013

Mandate:   Resolution of the Council revising the Mandate of the Environment Policy Committee [C(2009)47 & CORR1] approved by the Council on 14 May 2009 at its 1195th session [C/M(2009)9, item 111]




Resolution of the Council [C(2009)47 & CORR1 and C/M(2009)9, item 111]




   Having regard to Articles 1, 2, 5(a) and 12 of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development of 14 December 1960;


   Having regard to the Rules of Procedure of the Organisation, and in particular Rules 1 and 21 c);

   Having regard to the mandate of the Environment Committee [C(85)47/FINAL], as extended and amended by the Resolutions of the Council of 23 February 1990 [C/M(90)4/FINAL, Item 48], 12 March 1992 [C(92)25/FINAL], 27 February 1997 [C(97)9/FINAL], 24 June 1999 [C(99)76/FINAL] and 9 June 2004 [C(2004)99/REV1];

   Having regard to the proposed revision of the mandate of the Environment Policy Committee C(2009)47;

   Recognising that the quest of societies for economic well being and improved living standards often places undesirable and sometimes unanticipated pressures on the natural environment and on finite natural resources;


   Mindful also of the potential risk to human health and well‑being from certain socio‑economic activities;


   Aware that sustainable development requires that economic, environmental and social policies be pursued by governments in an integrated and reinforcing manner;


   Believing that the effective and efficient implementation of environmentally-related policies is dependent on sound economic analysis, technological innovation and diffusion, and strong legal, institutional and administrative arrangements;


   Aware also that close co‑operation among governments, industry, labour and nongovernmental organisations, as well as public participation and access to environmental information, are critical to building and maintaining public support for environmental investments and policies;


   Conscious that OECD Members have a responsibility to safeguard their own environments, and have expressed a commitment to assist other nations in addressing their environmental challenges at the national level as well as to engage them in co‑operative efforts to confront regional and globalscale environmental threats;


   Taking into consideration the Strategic Vision adopted by EPOC to help guide work over the medium term and assist with the biennial Programme of Work and Budget cycle;


   Recalling that OECD Environment Ministers, adopted in May 2001, the “OECD Environmental Strategy for the First Decade of the 21st Century”, to provide clear directions for environmentally sustainable policies in OECD Member countries, and to guide the future work of the OECD in the field of environment. The Strategy identifies five inter-linked objectives for enhancing cost-effective and operational environmental policies in the context of sustainable development:


• Maintaining the integrity of ecosystems through the efficient management of natural resources.

• De-coupling environmental pressures from economic growth.

• Improving information for decision making: Measuring progress through indicators.

• The social and environmental interface: Enhancing the quality of life.

• Global environmental interdependence: Improving governance and co-operation.


   Recalling that OECD Environment Ministers reviewed the implementation of the OECD Environmental Strategy in April 2004 and April 2008 and then also requested that EPOC start to work on updating the OECD Environmental Strategy as we move into the second decade of the 21st Century;




1. The Environment Policy Committee will have the following responsibilities:


   a)   Provide a senior-level forum for Members to share views on, and consider policy responses to, major environmental issues and threats.

   b)   Encourage co-operation among Members in the pursuit of shared environmental objectives, including, inter alia, co-ordinated consultation on policies, approaches and major actions taken or proposed; work to identify the costs of inaction; data sharing; and joint research and analysis.

   c)   Promote, in support of sustainable development, the integration of environmental, economic and social policies, technological innovation and diffusion, and protection of unique environmental values and natural ecosystems.

   d)   Assess on a systematic basis the environmental performances of Members and selected non-Members in relation to their national and international policies and commitments.

   e)   Update, assess and report on the implementation of the “OECD Environmental Strategy for the First Decade of the 21st Century.

   f)   Develop and promulgate environmental and decoupling indicators, and standardised, comparable sets of data and statistics, as a basis for identifying environmental trends, progress and deficiencies in individual Members and the OECD as a whole.

   g)   In conjunction with the Chemicals Committee, develop guidance, methodologies and outreach documents related to the safety of chemical substances and products of modern biotechnology, and the release of chemicals to the environment.   

   h)   Conduct the examination of candidate countries in view of their accession to the OECD.

   i)   Promote the sharing with non-Members, and in particular with Enhanced Engagement countries, of the environmental management expertise, information and experience which reside in Members and the OECD.

   j)   Ensure that the views and expertise of non-government institutions are drawn upon in the conduct of OECD's environmental work, utilising, inter alia, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) and relevant non-governmental organisations.


2. In the pursuit of these objectives, the Environment Policy Committee shall maintain close working relationships with other relevant bodies of the Organisation, seeking to ensure that environmental considerations are fully addressed in the overall work of the OECD, in particular work on sustainable development, in a well co-ordinated and horizontal manner.


3. The Environment Policy Committee shall also maintain, as appropriate, and in conformity with the OECD Convention and Rules of Procedure, relations with other international organisations, seeking to achieve co‑ordinated and complementary work programmes in areas of shared interest and mutual benefit, and ensuring that the experience and expertise of other bodies is appropriately incorporated into OECD environmental work.


4. The mandate of the Environment Policy Committee shall remain in force until 31 December 2013.


Version Published On :5th July 2012 and Archived on: 13th June 2013  
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