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EU Reform and Climate Policies – Two Birds with One Stone

Maintaining a strong EU and implementing effective climate policies go hand in hand with one another. Indeed, they are pretty much the best of friends. A stable, prosperous and climate-resilient Europe requires effective climate action; and effective climate action needs a strong EU. When addressed from this angle, there is a lot of agreement among EU policymakers, who often speak about the importance of climate action when addressing the future of the EU. However, there is more to it than general agreement. Climate policies and the future of the EU can reinforce each other in concrete ways. This article by Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf (Ecologic Institute) and Sebastian Oberthür (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) is available for download.Read more
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EU Reform and Climate Policies – Pretty Much Best Friends

On 9 May 2019, the European Council meets in Sibiu (Romania). Not long ago, this meeting was expected to be an important milestone in the Process on the Future of the EU. Now, expectations are much lower. Avoiding controversy is the first order of business. But the core questions of the Process on the Future of the EU will not go away: how to maintain and develop a strong EU? This question will stick with us, and it will keep the new Parliament and the new Commission busy. This article by Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf (Ecologic Institute) and Sebastian Oberthür (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) is available online.Read more

How Can We Make the Energiewende Digital and Sustainable?

The Energiewende means a transition from the old, nuclear-and-coal based, to a sustainable and digitalized energy system. This is a complex endeavor: the number of actors involved increases and their functions overlap. While digital technologies bring automation and potential for relief, they are an ambivalent phenomenon: with no comprehensive laws on data protection, it is unclear what is going to happen to the tremendous amount of data collected by digital appliances. Besides, technologies like blockchain are often so energy-intensive that they eat up the amount of resources that they are trying to save. Therefore, political design must actively shape a digital and ecologically sustainable energy transition – it will not happen by itself.Read more
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The Future of Energy Security

Energy security – the uninterrupted supply of energy at reasonable prices, as defined by IEA – has both external and internal dynamics. It can be ensured through local adequacy, that is, abundant and varied forms of indigenous energy resources, but the countries that face local shortages, as in Bangladesh, depend on imports. Shafiqul Alam explains in his online article in the Dhaka Tribune how internal measures could attenuate reliance on external sources.Read more
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Wer von Fahrverboten spricht, verhindert Umweltschutz

Framing-Check: "Fahrverbot"
The use of the term "driving ban" can give the impression of a general and comprehensive ban on driving. In this sense, it means, rather, a ban on mobility. The term thus does not only suggest a banishment, but also an interference in the personal freedom of all drivers, not only of diesel drivers. "Traffic restrictions" is the more precise term with respect to the content. Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf, Head of International and European Governance, and Katharina Umpfenbach, Coordinator Energy of the Ecologic Institute, discuss this in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The article is available online.Read more

Groundwater and Agriculture: A Comparison of Managing Scarcity and Droughts in France and California

As part of the EU H2020 RURECO project, Dr. Josselin Rouillard carried out a one-month research exchange with the University of Davis, California focusing on sustainable groundwater management in Europe, France and California. Seminars with academic staff at UC Davis and Stanford University were organised comparing European and Californian strategies for sustainable groundwater management. Workshops and meetings were organised with the State Water Resource Control Board and nine groundwater sustainable agencies across the state of California. The blogpost is linked in the article.Read more

Inklusiv oder exklusiv? Die Postwachstumsbewegung zwischen Elite und Ideal

The ideal of economic growth goes back to the period of industrialisation, when development and growth meant almost the same thing: Progress. But what happens in a society where it is clear that resources are limited? Marius Hasenheit of Ecologic Institute and Viola Nordsieck discuss these questions in the discussion paper "Aspects of Group-Related Misanthropy in Nature and Environmental Protection". The discussion paper is available for download.Read more

Introducing the H2020 AQUACROSS Project

Knowledge, Assessment, and Management for AQUAtic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services aCROSS EU policies
Lago, M., Boteler, B., Rouillard, J., Abhold, K., Jähnig, S., Iglesias-Campos, A., Delacámara, G., Piet, G., Hein, T., Nogueira, A., Lillebø, A., Strosser, P., Robinson, L., De Wever, A., O'Higgins, T., Schlüter, M., Török, L., Reichert, P., van Ham, C., Villa, F. and Hugh, M. (2019). Introducing the H2020 AQUACROSS project: Knowledge, Assessment, and Management for AQUAtic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services aCROSS EU policies. Science of The Total Environment, 652, pp.320-329.Read more

Climate Pioneership and Leadership in Structurally Disadvantaged Maritime Port Cities

In this article, the authors, among them Ecologic Institute's Linda Mederake, assess innovative climate governance in small-to-medium-sized structurally disadvantaged cities (SDCs). Considering their deeply ingrained severe economic and social problems, it would be reasonable to assume that SDCs act primarily as climate laggards or at best as followers. However, novel empirical findings show that SDCs are capable of acting as climate pioneers. Different types and styles of climate leadership and pioneership and how they operate within multi-level and polycentric governance structures are identified and assessed. SDCs seem relatively readily willing to adopt transformational climate pioneership styles to create 'green' jobs, for example, in the offshore wind energy sector and with the aim of improving their poor external image. Read more

Using Historical Storms for Flood Risk Management

The 1872 Storm in South Sweden
The volume "Sites of Remembering: Landscapes, Lessons, Policies" of the Rachel Carson Centres' journal called "Perspectives" bridges the gap between humanities research and public policy. It uses a diverse selection of examples from worldwide memory studies to illuminate how society can employ lessons from the past in building resilience to ecological and humanitarian disasters. Dr. Grit Martinez of Ecologic Institute is a co-author. The volume is available for download.Read more

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