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Ecologic Institute Newsletter No 244 – January 2023

Ecologic Institute Newsletter No 244 – January 2023

Ecologic Institute Newsletter


Role of Soils in Climate Change Mitigation – Report

This report examines the mitigation potential of climate friendly soil management practices at the global, EU and German levels, along with key management measures, their co-benefits and trade-offs, and implementation challenges. In 10 separate factsheets, a subset of these measures is discussed in more detail. The publications, written by Ecologic Institute, University of Giessen and Oeko-Institut, are available for download.

Carbon Farming Co-benefits – Approaches to enhance and safeguard biodiversity – Report

In a report co-authored by Ecologic Institute and IEEP, we demonstrate that, despite both the potential benefits and risks of carbon farming for biodiversity, most of the current carbon farming mechanisms fail to safeguard biodiversity and incorporate approaches to ensure net positive biodiversity impacts. We identify challenges and opportunities for implementing standards for biodiversity into carbon farming mechanisms and propose requirements to ensure that carbon farming standards enhance and safeguard biodiversity while ensuring climate change mitigation. The report is available for download.

Funding Climate-friendly Soil Use in the EU – Workshop Summary

59 soil experts, carbon market experts, policy-makers and stakeholders participated in the "Funding climate-friendly soil use in the EU: Challenges and risks of market-based approaches" workshop. In addition to providing an overview of climate-friendly soil measures, it focused on results-based approaches to funding climate-friendly soil measures and overcoming their key challenges. Ecologic Institute organized, hosted and moderated the workshop and presented the results. A summary is available for download.

Supporting Decision-making on the EU Nature Restoration Regulation – Policy Briefs

The EU Commission published its proposal for a new Nature Restoration Regulation in June 2022. In this context, IEEP and Ecologic Institute – as part of the Think Sustainable Europe (TSE) network – published thematic policy briefs to support Members of the European Parliament and other policy-makers with targeted information on nature restoration. Ecologic Institute contributed with policy briefs on the critical role of restoration in relation to health and well-being, to river connectivity and to resilience of European cities. Two additional broader policy briefs focus on the benefits of the proposed regulation for implementing other existing EU policy objectives and on the availability of funding. Further policy briefs on climate adaptation and mitigation, as well as on economic aspects, have been published by IEEP and other members of the TSE network. Policy briefs on water security, peatlands, marine restoration, and water security will soon be available.

The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Summit: Progress and Standstill – Article

The COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh was intended as an implementation summit by the Egyptian presidency. The key outcome was the agreement on a financing mechanism with a fund specifically for damage and loss. Apart from that, the substantive outcomes of COP27 were mostly disappointing. This article by Dr. Ralph Bodle, Arne Riedel and Dr. Camilla Bausch provides an overview of selected outcomes, as well as insights into the process and the assessment by German civil society.

Climate Diplomacy in Turbulent Times. Taking stock of major climate developments in 2022 – Policy Brief

This policy brief first takes stock of progress on nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and then reviews developments in plurilateral initiatives such as the G7 Climate Club and the Just-Energy-Transition-Partnerships. Ecologic Institute's Dr. Michael Jakob and colleagues discuss major developments within the UNFCCC process on mitigation, adaptation, and climate finance. In conclusion, the brief takes a closer look at some key domestic climate breakthroughs and provides an outlook for 2023.The policy brief is available for download.

Policy Avenues towards a Climate-Neutral Europe – Report

The report maps out four policy avenues for how the EU could attain climate neutrality. The policy avenues consist of a mix of policy instruments sequenced over time, and the institutional arrangements to deliver them. Each policy avenue embodies a different paradigm, i.e., a different approach to (climate) policymaking. They thus sketch different paths that the EU could follow to align its climate policy with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. The report of the 4i-TRACTION project is available for download.

Towards Socially and Ecologically Sustainable Energy Markets – Policy Brief

This policy brief outlines how fossil fuel subsidies could be reformed to address social problems in the short term without jeopardizing progress toward long-term climate targets. It first provides a concise overview of fossil fuel subsidies in the G20. Ecologic Institute's Dr. Michael Jakob and Nora Kögel then discuss alternative ways to shield consumers against the effects of higher energy prices. Finally, they provide recommendations on how the G20 could work toward socially balanced energy pricing. The policy brief is available for download in German and English.

Fifty Shades of Green: Sustainable finance and the EU taxonomy – Green Deal – Big Deal? Podcast

How do we classify which investments are the right ones to drive the transition to a climate and nature-friendly economy? This is an essential question that is crucial to a successful implementation of the European Green Deal. But how is the EU taxonomy implemented in practice? In the latest "Green Deal – Big Deal?" podcast episode, the hosts Ewa Iwaszuk and Aaron Best of Ecologic Institute discuss these questions, together with their interview guests Ben Allen (Research Director at the Institute for European Environmental Policy) and Nicole Krämer (Sustainability Analyst at Greenomy).

EU Taxonomy: A good step towards more sustainability? – Knowledge for Future – The Environment Podcast

To achieve the EU climate targets, a lot of money will have to be invested – according to estimates by the EU Commission, an additional 350 billion euros per year by 2030. To avoid greenwashing and ensure that these funds actually flow into sustainable economic activities, the EU taxonomy has been in place since 2020. The weaknesses of the taxonomy and its potential for development are questioned in the 14th episode of our podcast.

European Resource Sovereignty – Case Study

Given current experiences in energy markets – exacerbated by Russia's non-compliance with its treaty obligations – Western democracies and the EU, explore new supply chains and strategies to reduce their commodity dependence on China. The findings presented by the authors of this study provide an overview of the main options the EU needs to address the pressure of growing dependencies. Ecologic Institute's case study is available for download.

Without a Debate on Sufficiency, a Circular Plastics Economy will Remain an Illusion – Article

To tackle the "plastic crisis", the concept of circular economy has attracted considerable attention over the past years from both practitioners and scholars. Against this background, Linda Mederake, Ecologic Institute, reflects on the key issues currently being debated about the implementation of a circular economy for plastics from the perspective of a policy analyst in this opinion piece. The article is available online.

Making Urban Water Management Tangible for the Public by Means of Digital Solutions – Article

Dr. Ulf Stein and Benedict Bueb of Ecologic Institute, together with researchers of the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRAE) present insights from two case studies in Paris and Berlin. The case studies investigated the potential of two mobile applications to make urban water management visible to the public and thus increase awareness about certain water management aspects. The article hypothesizes that such apps can contribute to a shift in problem perception of a specific water management issue, and thereby influence public discourse on that topic. In the long term, this has the potential to change practices in urban water management. The article is available online.

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Farm to Fork: Feeding a continent without wrecking a planet – Webinar

The challenges of food security, food waste, access to healthy diets and the environmental footprint of food production are closely interrelated. To address them, the European Union has put forward "Farm to Fork", a strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. On 1 February 2023, Ecologic Institute will organize a webinar for young people in Europe to discuss the challenges facing the food system and how the European Union plans to address them. Expert guests are Lukas Visek, a member of the cabinet of Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal, and responsible for the "Farm to Fork" strategy, and Faustine Bas-Defossez, Director for Nature, Health and Environment at the European Environmental Bureau, who will bring an NGO perspective.

Reusable Transport Packaging – Online Expert Dialogue

The Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Urban Mobility, Consumer Protection and Climate Action (SenUMVK) and Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg are organizing an online expert dialogue on "Reusable Transport Packaging" on 27 February 2023, to discuss potentials, challenges, and elements for the expansion of reusable transport packaging together with experts from trade, the logistics industry, civil society and politics. Good examples from practice will be presented that show how reusable systems for transport can be developed and expanded. In addition, there will be an exchange on political framework conditions necessary to strengthen reusable transport packaging. Please register by 22 February 2023! (The event will be held in German.)

Tackling Microplastics in the Environment – Conference

Microplastics are ubiquitous in our environment and have attracted much public attention in recent years as an invisible part of global plastic pollution. Against this background, the EU Commission is planning an initiative on tackling the issue of non-intentional inputs of microplastics into the environment as part of the European Green Deal. In this context, the areas of textile fibers, tire abrasion and pellet loss are specifically discussed at the EU level. The event will tackle these issues and present results and policy recommendations from scientific research projects from Germany and other EU member states. The event will take place in Brussels on 9 March 2023.