OECD Forum on Green Finance and Investment: Introductory Remarks to Keynote by Professor Mariana Mazzucato, University College London

Remarks as delivered at the OECD Forum on Green Finance and Investment at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France on 29 October 2019.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we come together for this annual Green Finance and Investment Forum, energy related carbon dioxide emissions are rising again, reaching unprecedented levels in 2018.

You do not need me to tell you the consequences of inaction. We need deep and ambitious policy action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and innovation is a key part of this.

Let there be no doubt: the rate and direction of innovation will help determine our success in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. However, we have a long way to go in getting the innovation policy mix right.

The OECD’s International Energy Agency is tracking the progress of 38 critical energy technologies necessary for a global clean energy transition, including renewable power, onshore wind, solar power, transport biofuels, smart grids, and energy storage. Currently, only 4 out of these 38 technologies are on track for development and deployment.

We urgently need to scale up these efforts, and key to achieving this is to make innovation mission-oriented, and not just motivated by financial gain.

Who better to tell us about how to achieve this than Professor Mariana Mazzucato, who has led the way in putting mission-oriented innovation on the policy agenda.

Her 2013 book, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths looks at the ‘investor of first resort’ role that the State has played in the history of technological change — from the Internet to biotech— and the lessons for a Green New Deal.

In 2016 she co-edited the book Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth focused on new economic thinking. I have had the pleasure of engaging with her very closely around these issues through the New Approaches to Economic Challenges initiative, which I oversee, and for which she serves on the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group for a New Growth Narrative.

Most recently, her 2018 book, The Value of Everything: making and taking in the global economy brings the debate about value back to the heart of economics, with analysis on how to ensure we are rewarding value creation over value extraction and destruction.

Mariana currently holds the Chair in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL). She is also the Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose.

Mariana is the recipient of a long and prestigious list of prizes, including the Leontief prize and most recently the inaugural Not the Nobel prize, for fresh thinking in economics.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in giving a very warm welcome to Mariana Mazzucato.

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