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Ecologic Newsletter No 8 - November 2003

Ecologic Newsletter No 8 - November 2003

  1. The Use of Environmental and Social Criteria in Export Credit Agencies' Practices
  2. Conference "Moving forward from Cancún"
  3. Institutional Interaction to Address Greehouse Gas Emissions from International Transport: ICAO, IMO and the Kyoto Protocol
  4. Conference Proceedings: EU: CAP and Enlargement - an Opportunity for Nature and Environment?
  5. Strategically Harvesting Environmental Lessons from Abroad
  6. Democracy, Efficiency, Transparency - The European Convention's Proposals for Institutional Reform from an Environmental Perspective
  7. The Division of Competencies- Reform Suggestions and Implications for the Environment

1. The Use of Environmental and Social Criteria in Export Credit Agencies' Practices
Ecologic recently published a study on the incorporation of environmental and social standards into export credit agencies' lending practices. The study, which was commissioned by the German Development Agency (GTZ), surveys the environmental guidelines of eight OECD member states' export credit agencies. Special emphasis was given to the support of large dams; in this context, the study evaluates to what extent the recommendations made by the World Commission on Dams are reflected in the environmental and social guidelines.
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2. Conference "Moving forward from Cancún"
The issues of International Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development were at the core of the Conference "Moving forward from Cancún", which took place 30 - 31 October 2003 in the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. More than 100 participants from Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA analysed the collapse of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún and exchanged their views on how to render the international trading system more sustainable. Among others, the conference included panels on agriculture, investment, services, consumer protection. A summary of the event and the presentations are available in the Internet.
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3. Institutional Interaction to Address Greehouse Gas Emissions from International Transport: ICAO, IMO and the Kyoto Protocol
In response to Article 2.2 of the Kyoto Protocol, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have begun to consider greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international aviation and shipping. However, neither ICAO nor IMO have taken any effective action on the issue yet and progress can be characterised as slow. But there are options for furthering the progress within ICAO and IMO. A publication by Dr. Sebastian Oberthür.
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4. Conference Proceedings: EU: CAP and Enlargement - an Opportunity for Nature and Environment?
On 19-21 February, 2003 the international conference entitled "EU: CAP and Enlargement - An Opportunity for Environment and Nature?" took place in Potsdam, Germany. The primary goal of the conference was to analyse and discuss the complex interactions between EU enlargement, the Common Agricultural Policy and the related impacts on nature and environment. In October 2003 the conference proceedings have been published in the series BfN-Skripten of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.
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5. Strategically Harvesting Environmental Lessons from Abroad
The guest authors Dale Medearis and Brian Swett wrote a paper on the U.S. adaptation of international best practices and innovation in environmental policies which has now been published on the Ecologic Website.
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6. Democracy, Efficiency, Transparency - The European Convention's Proposals for Institutional Reform from an Environmental Perspective
Although the Convention on the future of the EU adopted the draft Constitutional Treaty, its environmental implications remain highly uncertain. Ecologic published a Brief that analyses the draft Constitutional Treaty. Furthermore, it considers the potential environmental merits and shortcomings of the broader reform options which have provided the backdrop for the Convention's discussions.
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7. The Division of Competencies- Reform Suggestions and Implications for the Environment
The Laeken Declaration, convening the Convention on the Future of Europe, submitted a broad mandate to it, requesting it to reorganise the distribution of tasks between the EU and the Member States. However, the Convention did not consider reallocation of competencies, but rather concentrated on the task of ensuring transparency for the delimitation of competencies. Ecologic published a Brief that presents the system underlying the constitutional division of competencies, points out consequences of the system, and assesses them from an environmental point of view.
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