Ecologic Newsletter No 174 – March 2017
- 60 Years of the Rome Treaties
- Updated Inventory and Assessment of Soil Protection Policy Instruments in EU Member States – Publication
- Assessment and Management for Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Across EU Policies (AQUACROSS) – Publications
- Common Understanding of Using Mitigation Measures for Reaching Good Ecological Potential for Heavily Modified Water Bodies – Publication
- Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies in EU Coastal Areas – Publication
- Transition to a European Circular Economy – Publication
- Governance of the Energy Union – Publication
- Monitoring and Verification Platform (MVP) for Energy Efficiency Adopted by EU Countries – Video Tutorial
- Frameworks for Regional Co-operation: The EU – Publication
- Developing 2050 Decarbonization Strategies in the EU – Publication
- Lessons from the European Semester for Effective 2030 Governance for Energy and Climate – Publication
- Ambitious Climate Policy through Centralization? Evidence from the European Union – Publication
- REFRESH Food Waste 2017 – Conference
- Ecologic Institute is Looking to Hire – Job Opportunities
European cooperation remains of vital importance, and the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is a reason to celebrate despite turbulent times. Most of the challenges in environmental policy, such as resource use, climate and water protection and, in a broader sense, the transition towards a sustainable economy, cannot be addressed by the individual European states alone. These issues demand cross-border cooperation. The very foundation of such cooperation was laid by the Treaty of Rome, with the environmental dimension gaining importance over time. Based on the precautionary and the polluter pays principles, the European Union aims to ensure a high level of environmental protection collectively. As a European Think Tank, for over 20 years, Ecologic Institute has contributed to building bridges and driving European environmental policy in a forward-looking and solution-oriented manner. In celebration of the Treaty of Rome, this newsletter focuses on selected aspects of our European work.
Updated Inventory and Assessment of Soil Protection Policy Instruments in EU Member States – Publication
Based on a comprehensive analysis of EU laws and nationally initiated policies in 28 Member States, a new study led by Ecologic Institute assesses how existing EU legislation protects soils, identifying gaps and incoherencies in policy coverage. While valuable, and in some cases strong, provisions for soils are in place in EU law, several important weaknesses remain. Nationally initiated policies do not consistently address these gaps in EU legislation, leading to a situation where requirements for soil protection can vary significantly across Member States. The study provides an up-to-date understanding of soil protection policies in Europe, delivering a baseline on which to discuss further EU soil policy action. The study is available for download.
Assessment and Management for Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Across EU Policies (AQUACROSS) – Publications
Aquatic biodiversity is declining worldwide and faster than in terrestrial systems. The European research (H2020) project AQUACROSS, coordinated by Ecologic Institute, aims to support EU efforts to protect aquatic biodiversity and ensure the provision of aquatic ecosystem services. As such, AQUACROSS seeks to advance knowledge and application of ecosystem-based management (EBM) for aquatic ecosystems to support the timely achievement of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy targets. All project publications and executive summaries are available for download.
Common Understanding of Using Mitigation Measures for Reaching Good Ecological Potential for Heavily Modified Water Bodies – Publication
In the latest Work Programme 2016-2018 of the Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Water Directors of European countries agreed to set up a specific Ad-hoc Task Group (ATG) on best practice and guidance to deal with hydromorphology. In this context, one of the core activities of the Working Group (WG) ECOSTAT of the WFD CIS has been to compare the ecological quality expected by different countries for water bodies impacted by water storage. The process involved the use of a number of workshops and questionnaires to collect relevant information from European water managers. This report is based on information collected via a template on mitigation measures for water bodies impacted by water storage, which was completed by 23 countries and edited by Eleftheria Kampa (Ecologic Institute) and Sebastian Döbbelt-Grüne (Planungsbüro Koenzen). The report is available for download.
Europe's coastlines are a product of human cultivation. Since settling on the coast, humans have engineered the coastal characteristics to suit the purposes of states, the economy and human recreation. At the time of the Treaties of Rome, Europe had just emerged from the devastating aftermath of the Second World War with a 'great hunger' for a liberal life style, leisure activities and travel. The diverse and scenic views of Europe's coasts offered the ideal destination for such endeavors. Soon, a rapid coastal urbanization coupled with a steady increase in mass tourism emerged. Spurred by the trust in technical and engineering capacities, new bold attitudes about building and living on the sea often interfered with the natural sediment transport of coastal systems, leading to erosion. Today, more than 42% of Europeans live in coastal regions with coastal infrastructure worth about 959 billion EURO. Recent and historic high-impact storm events have demonstrated that weather events pose a significant risk and can immobilize cities and countries. The FP7 project, Resilience-Increasing Strategies for Coasts – toolKIT (RISC-KIT), recently issued a policy brief to communicate lessons learned and to support the dissemination of tools, which coastal managers to improve coastal resilience in Europe and elsewhere.
The promise of the circular economy is to reduce the use of natural resources while improving the economic and social results of the economy. The EU has made the move to a more circular economy one of its key ambitions, motivated by the knowledge that a long-standing commitment to protect the environment must be reconciled with the fact that some Member States strive to boost economic growth and employment. Ecologic Institute leads a new EU-funded H2020 project called CIRCULAR IMPACTS, which seeks to analyze the impacts of the transformation to a circular economy and help policy makers identify the process changes, policies and sectors where the double dividend of the circular economy can be reaped. The first draft report of CIRCULAR IMPACTS is now available for download and provides an overview of the various definitions and processes of a circular economy transition.
This paper analyzes the proposal of the European Commission for a new regulation on the "Governance of the Energy Union". The analysis is framed around two questions: Is the proposed system adequate for supporting the implementation of the 2030 targets? Will it help Europe to get on a long-term pathway to a zero carbon economy? The paper focuses on the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) as well as compliance and contains concrete proposals in legal language on how to improve the Commission's proposal. This paper builds on related papers by the Ecologic Institute and takes inspiration from intense discussions with colleagues in the ECF Governance cluster. The paper is available for download.
Monitoring and Verification Platform (MVP) for Energy Efficiency Adopted by EU Countries – Video Tutorial
How can European countries better monitor and calculate energy savings and CO2 emission reduction? This short video tutorial produced by Ecologic Institute presents functionalities and benefits from the use of an innovative Monitoring & Verification Platform (MVP). This IT tool has been designed to provide EU member states with an easy-to-use and cost-effective system to assess the impact of their implemented energy saving measures and plans. The video tutorial is available online.
The European Union (EU) is more than the sum of its parts. With the rise of nationalistic ideals and populist sentiment within and outside its borders—now more than ever, it stands for far more than an experiment in regional cooperation. A contentious history notwithstanding, EU climate and energy policy in particular may serve as a beacon in these turbulent times. In a new publication, authors Benjamin Görlach, Matthias Duwe and Nick Evans of Ecologic Institute, describe the intertwined roots of European energy and climate policy and argue that if EU countries and institutions can find common ground to continue pursuing ambitious emission reduction goals as a lighthouse project, then interlocking issues of climate and energy security may be an impetus for further cooperation in the face of trends that threaten to reverse European integration.
National long-term (2050) climate strategies have received increased attention in European policy debates in the past two years. The Paris Agreement also invites countries to develop such strategies. This study (a collaborative effort between IDDRI and Ecologic Institute) looks at five existing 2050 strategy processes in the EU and assesses what lessons they hold and how they fit within the emerging 2030 governance framework. The study is available for download.
Lessons from the European Semester for Effective 2030 Governance for Energy and Climate – Publication
Many open questions remain for the future governance system of the EU's 2030 climate and energy targets. This report by Ecologic Institute analyzes the possible lessons that can be drawn from the experience with the European Semester and helps provide answers on key procedural issues in the implementation/progress monitoring phase. The study is available for download.
Striking a balance between centralization and decentralization of competences is a challenge that dates to the start of European integration. There are some drivers that work towards greater centralization of EU climate policies – the need for enhanced climate action, electricity market integration and a realization of the Energy Union. At the same time, centralization in and of itself is not a guarantee for more ambitious or effective climate policies. In a new publication appearing in the journal Climate Policy authors Camilla Bausch and Benjamin Görlach of Ecologic Institute and Michael Mehling of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) trace the evolution and role of the centralization/decentralization debate in the context of EU climate policy. The article looks at emissions trading and the promotion of renewable energy as cases of centralization vs. decentralization.
REFRESH Food Waste 2017 will bring together diverse stakeholder groups from across Europe working on food waste. The main conference day on 18 May 2017 will include presentations, discussions and interactive sessions with REFRESH researchers, networking sessions, a presentation of the REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest winners as well as a public food waste event together with REFRESH partner feedback. The conference will feature an Innovators' Fair, where food waste innovators can present their projects and insights with a poster or stand.
- Economist for Environmental Policy
As an economist for environmental policy, the candidate should be capable of guiding the economic dimensions of environmental policy projects and will apply quantitative assessment methods to support the evaluation of transformation processes.
- Lawyer in the Field of Environmental Law
As a lawyer in the field of environmental law, the candidate should be a young professional with little or some experience and highly interested in supporting our legal team in policy consultancy and scientific project work.
- (Senior) Fellow in the Field of EU Agricultural and Soil Policies
As a (Senior) Fellow in the field of EU agricultural and soil policies you would provide key support to our team in the preparation of current projects with a particular focus on agriculture, soils and land use. In the medium term you would be expected to acquire and lead projects in this area with the goal of permanent employment.
- Economist for Environmental Policy
Publisher: Ecologic Institute, Pfalzburger Str. 43/44, 10717 Berlin
Person in charge: Dr. Camilla Bausch, Ecologic Institut, Pfalzburger Str. 43/44, 10717 Berlin