Ecologic Institute Newsletter No 214 – July 2020
- Improving International Soil Governance – Publication
- Scaling up Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration: The Importance of Knowledge – Publication
- Sustainable Development in the European Union – Publication
- Turning Points for the Ambition of European Climate Targets – Publication
- European Recovery Packages and their Climate Investment Shares – Publication
- EU Corona Billions Still Without Defined Climate Criteria – Publication
- EU Recovery and Resilience Facility – Good or Bad for Climate Policies? – Publication
- Creating Green Cities – NATURVATION Podcast
- Fish-friendly Innovative Technologies for Hydropower – Publication
- Energy-intensive Industries: Challenges and Opportunities in Energy Transition – Publication
- India's Draft Uniform EPR Framework Misses the Uniformity it Promised to Bring – Publication
- Food and Climate Protection – Presentation
- The Future of Meat: From Trend Analysis to Policy Action – Presentation
- Ride the Wave and Take Part in the #YoungOceanWaves Video and Photo Contest – News
This research report by Ecologic Institute identifies ways in which Germany can improve international soil governance in the short, medium and long term. It begins with an inventory of existing international instruments and institutions relevant to soil governance at the international level. It assesses the actual and potential steering effects of international treaties such as the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the climate regime as well as regional agreements. It also analyses the activities of FAO, UNEP, IPBES and IPCC. The research report is available for download.
Protecting and enhancing soil organic carbon plays a central role in societal response to the climate crisis, securing a vital carbon sink while also supporting ecosystems and food security. A range of enabling conditions are needed to scale up land management practices that achieve this. A report prepared by Ecologic Institute under the CIRCASA project points to the importance of knowledge for scaling up soil carbon sequestration, including the need for innovative forms of knowledge (co-) creation and dissemination to make the right knowledge available to land managers. The report is available for download.
This publication is the fourth of Eurostat's regular reports monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an EU context. The monitoring report provides a statistical presentation of trends relating to the SDGs in the EU over the past five years ('short-term') and, when sufficient data is available, over the past 15 years ('long-term'). Ecologic Institute's authors covered the chapters on SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water), SDG 15 (Life on Land) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). The monitoring report and a reader-friendly 'light' version are available for download.
A new paper by Öko-Institute and Ecologic Institute contributes to the upcoming discussion on the EU climate target for 2030 and the accompanying review of central policy instruments and governance structure. A successful implementation of a climate-neutrality trajectory in line with the Paris Agreement will be crucial for the development of reduction efforts and emission pathways in the EU and its Member States. The paper highlights interlinkages between relevant processes at the European level and those under the Paris Agreement. An overview diagram visualizes the current timeline of these processes and helps to identify critical moments and windows of opportunity in the next few years for raising EU ambition. Another figure helps to understand the key levers of the target setting. The paper is available for download.
In May 2020, the European Commission proposed Next Generation EU recovery program with an overall volume of 750 billion Euros to cope with the economic contraction due to the Corona crisis. The recovery plan entails grants, loans and guarantees aiming to support especially those countries hardest hit by the pandemic. 25% of the financial support should be invested into green projects. The investment support comes on top of funds already foreseen in the proposed Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) – the next long-term EU budget from 2021 to 2027 – and add additional financial power to already proposed climate programs. This policy brief by Ecologic Institute's Jan-Erik Thie gives a broad overview of the Commission's proposal for the new MFF and the Next Generation EU program and their proposed climate investment shares. The policy brief is available for download.
Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf comments on the EU Corona aid package in Tagesspiegel Background. He calls for the EU Parliament to have a greater say in the matter and criticises the aid programme for not being sufficiently linked to the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. The comment is available online.
The EU recovery and resilience facility marks progress but has some shortcomings in climate policy, argues Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in his OpEd for the Tagesspiegel. A bigger role for the European Parliament in the distribution of recovery funds is important – for climate protection and democracy in the EU. The facility's spending rules must be clarified. The OpEd is available online.
Creating Green Cities is a podcast on urban nature-based solutions, explained through stories of inspiring innovators from across Europe who have used their passion and creativity to make cities greener. We talk to guests from Barcelona, Budapest, Malmö and Utrecht to find out why green roofs are so cool, what happens when you start talking to hundreds of people about trees, and why it is more difficult to run a community garden than to start one.
Hydropower is an important source of renewable and stable energy production, but its generation affects aquatic ecosystems, in particular fish fauna and hydro-morphology. Therefore, alternative methods and tools for optimising hydropower facilities and mitigating impacts are needed. This policy brief presents selected key outputs of the FIThydro project, which are relevant for policy-makers, managers and operators involved in the commissioning and operation of hydropower plants. The policy brief is available for download.
For energy-intensive industries, the transformation towards a climate-neutral form of production is a particular challenge, not only because of their large carbon footprints, but also because they are embedded in value chains that are still predominantly fossil-based. However, they too are part of the effort to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and at the same time accelerate the transition by providing competitive clean technology solutions. The authors, among them Ecologic Institute's Benjamin Görlach and Jan-Erik Thie, explore how European energy-instensive industries can transition to a climate-neutral economy while maintaining, and ideally improving, its global competitiveness. They investigate different technology options, policy designs and financial instruments. The study is available for download.
This commentary discusses the recently released Draft Guidelines on Uniform Framework for Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) by India's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Anurodh Sachdeva, German Chancellor Fellow at Ecologic Institute and Arpit Srivastava, German Chancellor Fellow at Fraunhofer Institute of Material Flow and Logistics argue that the draft guidelines fall short of fulfilling its purpose for three reasons. Basing their recommendations on learnings from experiences of developed countries with mature EPR ecosystems and contextualizing the same for ground realities of India, the authors provide a 6-point agenda to address the issues raised. The commentary is available for download.
With more than 1500 participants in the live stream and via YouTube, the online webinar "Saving the climate with knife and fork? How our eating habits affect the environment" on 18 May 2020 was a major success. Together, Tanja Dräger de Teran (WWF) and Stephanie Wunder (Ecologic Institute), highlighted the links between daily nutritional routines and their impact on climate, land use and health. The webinar recording is available online.
In her presentation "Plant based meat, insect food & invitro meat: Results of a trend analysis study for policy makers about environmental impacts and required policy action", Stephanie Wunder showed that from the three meat alternatives plant based products have by far the best environmental footprint. Supporting the further market development of these alternatives can therefore be part of the needed food system transformation. Further measures though have to be embedded into a broader range of policy changes. The presentation slides are available for downlaod.
Crazy about the ocean? The #YoungOceanWaves contest is looking for the coolest videos and photos that show your connection to the ocean! The contest runs from 14 July to 18 August 2020. The winners will be awarded on 24-25 September 2020 at the first EU4Ocean workshop – Designing Ocean Literacy action in Europe, organised by the EU4Ocean Coalition, on behalf of the European Commission.
Publisher: Ecologic Institute, Pfalzburger Str. 43/44, 10717 Berlin
Person in charge: Dr. Camilla Bausch, Ecologic Institut, Pfalzburger Str. 43/44, 10717 Berlin