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Ecologic Newsletter No 53 - July 2007

Ecologic Newsletter No 53 - July 2007

  1. Federalism in Germany and the USA: Environmental Regulatory Implications and Trends - Project report published
  2. Water Framework Directive & Hydropower - Workshop key conclusions and summary report online
  3. Disproportionate Costs in the Water Framework Directive - Project results online
  4. Regulation of Water Supply in Germany - Publication
  5. The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) continues activities on CSR - Online evaluation
  6. The Role of Renewable Energy in a Sustainable Energy Supply - The Example of Bioenergy - Lecture
  7. US and EU water policy frameworks - Lecture
  8. Economist in the field of climate policy and water policy - Employment

1. Federalism in Germany and the USA: Environmental Regulatory Implications and Trends - Project report published
The USA and Germany are currently each engaged in a battle over the respective rights of the federal vs. state government in determining environmental standards and regulations. In the United States, California and a number of other states are introducing emissions regulations either on their own or in regional partnerships. In Germany, reform of federalism could lead to exceptions from country-wide environmental regulations. In both instances, this tug-of-war could lead to disparate environmental regulations and standards from region to region, an outcome that could pose significant challenges for industry. The project report focuses on the federalism debate as it relates to environmental regulation in Germany and the United States and its implications for business.
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2. Water Framework Directive & Hydropower - Workshop key conclusions and summary report online
On 4-5 June 2007, a workshop on the Water Framework Directive and Hydropower was held in Berlin. The focus of the workshop was on hydropower use and its relationship to hydromorphological changes. The workshop aimed at the exchange of information and views on good practice in hydropower use, strategic priorities on the catchment level as well as instruments to promote hydropower and to improve water status. The key conclusions and a summary report are now available for download.
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3. Disproportionate Costs in the Water Framework Directive - Project results online
Article 4 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) permits exemptions if the necessary measures for achieving the environmental objectives of the Directive will have disproportionate costs. In the frame of a project, Ecologic and partners developed a set of criteria and a step-by-step procedure for how to assess the disportionality of costs in a practicable and quick way. The main focus in this context was on the affordability of measures - when is it possible to conclude that the costs of the measures exceed the accepted party's ability to pay? The results of the project are now available for download.
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4. Regulation of Water Supply in Germany - Publication
Germany has a very good record on water services. Despite high connection rates and almost full cost recovery, the total annual costs for consumers are at the same level or even cheaper than in other countries. This is an outcome of the specific way in which water management is organised in Germany. This contribution by R. Andreas Kraemer, Britta Pielen and Colette de Roo endeavours to explain the practice of municipal enterprises embedded in Germany's federal structures, the levels of water services, and reveals why water services can be as good and as cheap as they are.
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5. The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) continues activities on CSR - Online evaluation
Following an effective stakeholder dialogue in 2006, the Council has issued recommendations addressed at the German government and business community. Now, representatives from business and civil society are invited to comment the current state of discussion on CSR in Germany and to assess the activities of the Council through an online evaluation focussing on the "Assessment and Prospects of Corporate Responsibility in Germany" The questionnaire should be completed by 12 August 2007. The results of this process will provide a starting point for a stakeholder event in fall 2007. The Institute for Ecological Economy Research, Ecologic and Gebel Beratung assist in promoting and realising this project.
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6. The Role of Renewable Energy in a Sustainable Energy Supply - The Example of Bioenergy - Lecture
Besides the potential benefits of biomass, there is increasing public awareness of the more problematic aspects, including a possible increase in the intensity of agriculture and further destruction of the rainforest. In her lecture, Stephanie Schlegel outlined the opportunities for and the risks of renewable energy expansion with emphasis on the current debate surrounding the bioenergy boom. In addition, she led a discussion with the audience about which instruments are useful for creating the bioenergy boom sustainably and the requirements for policy and consumers.
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7. US and EU water policy frameworks - Lecture
Aaron Best spoke at the EcoFest 2007 held in Ohrid on the shores of Lake Ohrid in the southwestern part of Macedonia. He discussed water policy and management in the USA and EU, sharing with the audience international experience on a topic of particular interest to the residents of Ohrid.
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8. Economist in the field of climate policy and water policy - Employment
For immediate hire, we are looking for an Economist in the field of climate and water policy for our Berlin office.
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