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Ecologic Institute Newsletter No 235 – April 2022

Ecologic Institute Newsletter No 235 – April 2022

EU Textile Strategy towards a more sustainable fashion industry

Ecologic Institute Newsletter

New EU Textile Strategy marks an important first step towards a more sustainable fashion industry

Dear Reader,

At the end of March, the European Commission published the long-awaited EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. It is part of a package of European Green Deal proposals aiming to make products on the EU market more sustainable.

The textile and clothing industry is a relevant economic sector in the EU, with a turnover of 162 billion euros and 1.5 million people employed in the year 2019. Most textile products consumed in the EU, however, are imported. There is a clear trend of Europeans buying more and more clothes – on average 26 kg per person per year – and replacing them more frequently. This creates a huge waste stream, mostly of very low-quality textiles, partly polluted by chemicals. Moreover, the production of textiles entails an enormous use of raw materials as well as water and causes significant greenhouse gas emissions along the supply chain.

To sum up: it is about time for policymakers to address this issue. With the new Textile Strategy, the European Commission now sets a framework for building a competitive and low-carbon circular textile economy. One of the stated goals is to reverse unsustainable patterns of overproduction and overconsumption. Clothing, footwear and household textiles shall become more durable, reusable, repairable and recyclable. One key policy aiming at implementing these changes is the policy of mandatory design requirements, which are to be introduced through the proposed Ecodesign Regulation for Sustainable Products. Overall, the EU Textile Strategy can be seen as an important first step on the way towards a more sustainable fashion industry. It displays a good level of ambition, but whether it truly initiates far-reaching changes will depend on how exactly the announced measures are designed and implemented.

Scientists of the Ecologic Institute have co-authored a study on textile fiber recycling that informed the creation of the EU Textile Strategy. In chapter 6 of this study, we analyzed the specific challenges for high-quality textile recycling on the EU market. Taking into account the insights of key stakeholders from the textile and textile recycling industry, we suggested a policy mix to address the challenges. Most importantly, we examined a number of policy instruments that are mentioned in the EU Textile Strategy, such as mandatory ecodesign requirements, digital product passports and extended producer responsibility.

Ecologic Institute contributes to the development of effective policies in many other areas, not only at the EU level but also at global, national and local levels. You can find examples of this in our current newsletter.

Enjoy reading
Mandy Hinzmann


The Circular Economy and its Impact on Developing and Emerging Countries – Study

The circular economy is a key solution to reducing resource use and tackling a range of environmental impacts that arise from resource use. In recent years, many strong economies have developed strategies to foster a circular economy. But what do we know about how these plans impact developing and emerging countries? Do the strategies themselves take the effects on developing and emerging countries into account? What are the risks and opportunities for developing and emerging countries arising from industrialized countries shifting to a circular economy? This study by Susanne Langsdorf and Laurens Duin of Ecologic Institute provides answers to these questions. The study is available for download.

Plastics in the Environment – Compendium

This compendium – now also available in English – aims to define relevant terms more narrowly and thereby contribute to the heterogeneity of the scientific community concerned with "plastics in the environment". In addition, the brochure is intended to help ensure that communication with and by non-scientific actors on the topic is based on a terminologically correct foundation, especially in emotionally charged debates. After all, these debates are often highly relevant in shaping our future, and it seems important that the necessary political, social and economic decisions should be taken on the basis of knowledge and factual information. This compendium, published and edited by Ecologic Institute, is available for download.

Intercomparison of Ecological Potential for Rivers – Report

This report reviews and intercompares the methods used in European countries to define the ecological potential of heavily modified water bodies. Ecologic Institute has developed this report as part of an intercomparison exercise, which took place in the Water Framework Directive Common Implementation Strategy (WFD CIS) between 2019 and 2021. Similar reports co-authored by Ecologic Institute have been published on the intercomparison of ecological potential for lakes/reservoirs and for transitional and coastal waters. The reports are available for download.

Can Polluter Pays Policies in the Buildings and Transport Sectors be Progressive? – Country Briefing Germany

The European Commission's "Fit for 55" package proposes two significant reforms to energy pricing in the EU: Energy Taxation Directive (ETD) reform; and extending emissions trading to cover emissions from buildings and road transport (ETS2). A concern among stakeholders is how these reforms would impact lower-income households. Various policy mechanisms are under consideration to help address potential distributional impacts. Based on a microsimulation model, this report by Ecologic Institute analyses a series of reform scenarios supported by graphical depictions of their distributional effects in Germany. The report is available for download.

Trade Policy and Climate Change – Handbook

This insightful handbook by Dr. Michael Jakob provides a comprehensive overview of the most recent developments in the academic debate on the numerous and complex linkages between international trade and climate change. Offering critical and empirically-based perspectives on the future of international trade policy, this timely handbook is crucial reading for scholars, researchers and graduate students in political science, public policy and climate research. Policymakers will also benefit from its unique and insightful policy recommendations.

Globalization and Climate Change – Article

In an integrated global economy, trade policy and climate policy are closely intertwined. In this article, Ecologic Institute's Dr. Michael Jakob adopts an interdisciplinary approach to provide an overview of the key debates in economics, political science, and legal studies related to globalization and climate change. He identifies a number of emerging issues that deserve increased attention in future research in this direction.

Grease for Corruption and Violence – Article

Not only do natural gas and oil finance the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, but they also lie at the heart of the problem: authoritarianism and a lack of democracy. Decarbonization is not only a climate policy necessity but also an agenda for democracy and thus for peace, Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf writes in the Tagesspiegel.

European Green Deal – What is Europe trying to achieve and where are we now? – Podcast

The European Green Deal is the European Union's fundamental response to the challenges of the 21st century. From addressing climate change and nature degradation to creating conditions for sustainable and inclusive economic growth, the plan aims to revolutionize the way we live, work and play. In the first episode of the Green Deal – Big Deal? Podcast we unpack the European Green Deal and discuss its importance with our guests Dr Hans Bruyninckx (European Environment Agency) and Dr Åsa Persson (Stockholm Environment Institute). New episodes will be released every month and can be accessed directly on our website or streamed on popular podcast platforms.


Urban Governance Atlas – Call for Contributions

We are developing an Urban Governance Atlas (UGA) for nature-based solutions (NBS) as part of the INTERLACE project … and we want you to be a part of it! The UGA will be an interactive online database of good practice policy instruments that support the use of NBS for urban ecosystem restoration and more inclusive green space planning. Share your knowledge and be part of a global community working on NBS by nominating policy instruments until 13 May 2022.

In Environmental Policy, We Cannot Afford a Bloc Formation – Interview

As the war in Ukraine escalates, the climate crisis continues. But environmental policy in particular could build important bridges, reminds Dr. Camilla Bausch, Scientific & Executive Director of Ecologic Institute. In an interview with Elisabeth von Thadden, she discusses, among other things, the environmental impact of the war and the discord over Ukraine's demand that the secretariats of thirteen major international environmental agreements exclude Russia from relevant decision-making bodies and suspend Russian membership in the agreements.


Plastic in the Environment – Theme Day

At the theme day on plastics in the environment on 6 May 2022 in Berlin, children, young people and adults are invited to explore the more than 20 interactive exhibition stands and talk to researchers from all over Germany. In addition to a photo exhibition, a science and poetry slam, improvisation theater and discussion rounds, participants will also have the opportunity to get involved in exciting hands-on activities. For example, water samples will be taken directly from the Spree to test for microplastic contamination. Participation is free of charge. Registration is not necessary.

Ocean Literacy – EU4Ocean Summit 2022

As a founding member of the EU4Ocean platform, Ecologic Institute invites you to celebrate the progress and achievements in "Ocean Literacy" across Europe! Meet us from 19 to 22 May 2022 at the EU4Ocean Summit during the European Maritime Day 2022 and "Ocean Literacy Summit" in Ravenna (Italy). Numerous activities await you: from workshops to exhibitions and the Ocean Literacy Festival. Have a look at our event program and register for the "Ocean Literacy" EU4Ocean Summit.

We are Hiring!

Event Manager

To support our Events Team in Berlin, we are looking as soon as possible for an Event Manager (digital and in-person). The deadline for applications is 12 May 2022. We are looking forward to your application.

Student Assistant in the Human Resource Team

As Student Assistant, you will support our Human Resource Team primarily in the area of personnel development. The deadline for applications is 30 April 2022. We are looking forward to your application.

Student Assistant in the Field of Internet Editing

To strengthen our communications team, we are looking for a student assistant in the area of internet editing starting 1 July 2022. The deadline for applications is 15 May 2022. We are looking forward to your application.