This article co-authored by Sandra Naumann and McKenna Davis from the Ecologic Institute provides an overview of the state of the art of the environmental European policy framework and the recognized role of nature-based solutions (NBS) and sustainable urban planning (SUP) in reaching defined objectives and outlines insights on where NBS and SUP could play a larger role within this framework. Finally, it derives recommendations for a better integration of such concepts into the current framework. The article is available for download.
Legally binding reduction targets for Member States should be the unequivocal starting point of making EU laws fit for new EU climate targets. Based on a new distribution formula, national targets should continue until climate neutrality is achieved in 2050, writes Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in Euractive.
In this publication, we present the results of an acceptance study in two case study regions in Germany. We investigated farmers' and other soil experts' perceptions of subsoil amelioration as an approach to adapt to climate change. In addition, we analyzed the factors that influence their willingness to adopt specific measures to improve the subsoil. Applying q-method and focus groups, we surveyed overall 86 actors in the agricultural sector. The article is published in Frontiers in Agronomy, Volume 3, April 2021 and is available for download.
In the context of the European Green Deal, the introduction and design of border adjustment measures is currently subject to much controversy. Upon invitation to contribute to the series "Green Deal reloaded" by the Stiftung Genshagen and the Institut Montaigne, Dr. Camilla Bausch (Ecologic Institute) analyzes the opportunities and challenges provided by the proposed border adjustment mechanism.
Drinking water protection in North Rhine-Westphalia is based on mandatory requirements as well as voluntary measures agreed on between farmers and water suppliers. A study conducted by Ecologic Institute and HYDOR Consult for the Ministry of the Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) evaluated the outcomes of drinking water protection within the framework of the cooperative water protection model in NRW. The results were summarised in two articles in the journal “Korrespondenz Wasserwirtschaft”.
Individual responsibility of Member States - not collective goals for the EU - are a prerequisite for a successful EU climate policy. Increasing the reduction targets for member states should be the starting point for the revision of EU climate policy, not a vague discussion on expanding emissions trading, writes Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in his OpEd for the Tagesspiegel.
How can the overexploitation of groundwater resources by irrigated agriculture be better managed? Dr. Josselin Rouillard together with colleagues from California, Spain and France, addresses this question in a new scientific article published in Water Resources Research. The research focused on how users and public authorities can work collaboratively and adopt collective rules to regulate access to, and use of, groundwater in agriculture.
How much and what kind of waste is found on European riverbanks? Are microplastics floating in our river towards the open sea? What measures could reduce the presence of single-use plastic items in the environment? These are just some of the questions that young people are exploring together with scientists in the citizen science project "Plastic Pirates - Go Europe!". The aim of the project is a wide-ranging, scientific survey of litter pollution along European watercourses and the identification of potential litter hotspots.
A team of experts from the European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters (ETC-ICM) including Ecologic Institute's Dr. Ulf Stein published a study on the "Combined effects of human pressures on Europe's marine ecosystem". The paper was issued by the Journal for environment and society "Ambio". The central objective is to assess the extent to which human activities exert pressures on marine environments and where these pressures lead to degradation of the ecosystem.
With 2020 drawing to a close, Dr. Camilla Bausch was invited to contribute to "The World in 2021". This publication is an annual end-of-year publication by ISPI, a leading foreign policy think tank in Italy, on trends, crises and 10 key "questions" that are relevant for the upcoming year.
In the wake of Joe Biden's election as 46th President of the United States, Dr. Camilla Bausch contributed a blog post for the Global Public Policy Institute's Peace Lab on how multilateralism could help address the climate crisis. This is a timely contribution as it is complimentary to the current work on the German government's new White Paper on multilateralism. In her blog post, Dr. Bausch addresses a broad range of climate diplomacy topics, taking into account the role of Germany as well as the European Green Deal, the Paris Climate Agreement, the UN Agenda 2030, the dynamics within the G20 and the role of science.
The EU is discussing whether its 2030 climate target should be a net target or gross target. Net targets treat CO2 removal and greenhouse gas emission reductions the same, although they are fundamentally different. To avoid a major step backwards, the EU should formulate separate targets for emissions reductions and CO2 removal, argues Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in his contribution to the Tagesspiegel.
Recent and historic high-impact events have demonstrated significant flood risks to many coastal areas in Europe and across the globe. Understanding the behavior of humans in relation to risk management poses grand challenges for both natural and social sciences and humanities. The study analyzes the cultural aspects of coastal risk management and illustrates path-dependencies of concrete disaster risk reduction measures in relation to local contexts in European coastal regions in Northern and South Western Europe. Dr. Grit Martinez from Ecologic Institute co-authored the journal article.
Climate change is already causing an increase in extreme weather events, including an increase in the frequency and duration of periods of dry and drought conditions. In this paper, colleagues of the Emschergenossenschaft and Ecologic Institute summarize discussions on coordination and cooperation approaches for low water management and prevention at a workshop in the Emscher region.