Europe Beyond Aid (EBA)
The project reviewed European environmental performance based on the Commitment to Development Index, which is annually published by the Center for Global Development. After assessing the indicators used in the Index and considering the policies of relevance, the Ecologic Institute developed policy recommendations at the national and European levels for improving environment and development. The draft report is available online via the Center for Global Development's website.
The project Europe Beyond Aid reviewed European environmental performance based on the Commitment to Development Index, which is annually published by the Center for Global Development. After assessing the indicators used in the Index and considering the policies of relevance, the Ecologic Institute developed policy recommendations at the national and European levels for improving environmental performance. The Center for Global Development's annual "Commitment to Development Index" (CDI) ranks the policies and priorities of developed countries across seven categories, including topics like finance, migration, aid, and environment. The CDI probes into how these industrialized economies foster global development through assessing and comparing the countries based on indicator performance across the categories. Rankings in each focus area feed into an overall ranking. The environment focus area incorporates statistical indicators from environmental fields such as climate, fisheries, and biodiversity. Ensuring rigor across the environmental indicators will bolster the role of the Index as a tool for comparing development priorities.
The Ecologic Institute assessed the current environmental indicators for 17 European countries and at the European level to uncover broad trends. Based on observed environmental performance and the policies that have influenced the indicator results, policy recommendations at the country level are as follows:
- Eliminating subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels to reduce short and long-term pollution, improve human health, and increase the efficiency of the economy; and
- Raising gasoline taxes to encourage alternative transport and disincentivize unnecessary fuel consumption.
Policy recommendations at the European level include:
- Increasing ambition and the harmonization of carbon prices across sectors;
- Eliminating capacity enhancing fishing subsidies; and
- Reducing the burden of national reporting for the Convention on Biological Diversity through support mechanisms.
Based on the indicators used and the current European environmental policy outlook, the Ecologic Institute expects European countries to remain near the top of climate rankings and to gradually improve in the fisheries and biodiversity rankings. Yet high performance in comparison to other developed countries does not necessarily suggest that the current climate, fishery, and biodiversity policies in Europe sufficiently address the global environmental challenges of today.
The Center for Global Development homepage provides further information on parallel initiatives, as well as links to blogs and publications, including the 2013 CDI technical report [pdf, 1.8 MB, English] that outlines the indicator methodology and brief highlighting country performance across the seven focus areas.