Bioeconomy currently enjoys a high political priority; at the same time, the concept, which last received a boost in 2018 in the form of the updated EU Bioeconomy Strategy, is not without controversy and contains many conflicting goals. This is where the article by Zoritza Kiresiewa (Ecologic Institute), Franziska Wolff and Martin Möller (both Öko-Institut e.V.) comes in. The authors argue that bioeconomy can only contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals if the political framework is appropriate. Whether or not strategies will have an impact depends on each individual case. Bioeconomy pathways should be designed and tested accordingly.
The European Parliament improves the Commission's proposal for a European Climate Law. Gross reduction target for 2030, legally binding climate neutrality targets, emissions budgets and a European Climate Council would make the European Climate Law what it should be: a reliable compass for the path to climate neutrality by 2050, writes Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in his article for Tagesspiegel.
This Briefing Paper examines coordination and implementation challenges between the water and agricultural sectors in relation to water quantity in the context of WFD implementation in the Spanish Guadalquivir river basin. The challenges are interlinked by the underlying difficulty of imposing unpopular decisions against the will of powerful actors in the agricultural sector. To address these challenges, the authors suggest various coordination instruments based on incentives, voluntary cooperation, persuasion and information exchange.The Briefing Paper presents one of six analyses of cross-sectoral coordination challenges that were conducted as part of the STEER research project and on which separate Briefing Papers are available.
The completed governance analysis shows that coordination in the Emscher catchment area is already effective. There is room for improvement when it comes to involving citizens and planning processes should also be characterised by a higher degree of flexibility. The analysis provides recommendations. This paper constitutes one of six analyses of cross-sectoral challenges in water governance. These have been conducted as part of the STEER research project and results are published in separate analyses and position papers.
In a new scientific article published in Agricultural Water Management, Dr. Josselin Rouillard, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute, and co-author Dr. Jean-Daniel Rinaudo (Brgm) examine strategies to manage the overexploitation of water by agriculture. The research focused on innovative water allocation regimes involving strong collaborative approaches between regulators and water users.
The danger of a rebound in greenhouse gas emissions after the coronavirus crisis is looming on the horizon. Michał Dorociak and Michał Kamiński of 300Gospodarka, and Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf discuss in an OpEd for the EU Observer how the EU recovery programmes can avoid post-crisis emission increases.
In this paper the authors, among them Ecologic Institute's Ulf Stein, focus on the governmental bottlenecks in the Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive. The lack of horizontal, inter-sectoral communication; the insufficient land reserves; human resources and; the lack of financing were the areas that emerged as the most pressing issues. Further evidence suggests that the interaction of the WFD with other policy areas regulated at the European level might require closer inspection.
The EU recovery and resilience facility marks progress but has some shortcomings in climate policy, argues Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in his OpEd for the Tagesspiegel. A bigger role for the European Parliament in the distribution of recovery funds is important – for climate protection and democracy in the EU. The facility's spending rules must be clarified.
This study examines approaches of a set of European Union member states to pursue a coordinated approach to climate change adaptation (CCA) policy. It specifically addresses the co-ordination approaches that the selected countries use for the development and implementation of their national CCA policies in the immediate period following the publication of the EU's 2013 Adaptation Strategy.
This article (written in German) examines various policies and approaches that are currently being implemented or planned as solutions to the plastics crisis. It becomes clear that in national and international policies plastics are mainly described as a problem of waste management and that solutions are oriented accordingly. As a consequence, there are numerous regulations for the recycling of plastic waste in Germany, while waste prevention is rarely addressed. The perception of the plastics crisis as a problem of waste management also leads to a transfer of responsibility to individuals, who, however, have only limited room for manoeuvre compared to industry and politics.
Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf comments on the EU corona aid package in Tagesspiegel Background. He calls for the EU Parliament to have a greater say in the matter and criticises that the aid programme is not sufficiently linked to the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
The measures imposed by Berlin to contain the coronavirus pandemic are characterised by a pragmatic approach that poses less constraints on personal freedom than the measures adopted in other cities and countries. And yet it seems to be working. Support for small local businesses, solidarity and medical preparedness are at the heart of this approach. In this article, Doris Knoblauch from Ecologic Institute elaborates on the situation in the city of Berlin during the corona crisis.
What do environmentally friendly economic stimulus programs look like? In the Tagesspiegel, Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf takes stock of the stimulus packages adopted during the 2009 financial crisis. Stimulus packages should clearly exclude measures that harm the environment.
Faced with the COVID-19 crisis, there is great temptation for recovery plans to prop up yesterday’s economy. Instead, recovery plans and any economic stimulus must “build back better” and contribute to a resilient and sustainable future. In an EURACTIV op-ed, the directors of five leading think tanks and founders of the new Think Sustainable Europe network argue that any stimulus must be informed by science, strengthen resilience as well as solidarity, support the transformation towards low-carbon, sustainable societies and deal with the current challenges on an appropriate scale.
Local governments have little influence on short- and long-term climate policies taken at national and supranational levels. As the role of global cities is put to test by the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for an urgent and coherent management of the emergency in urban realities places further emphasis on the quest for sustainable urbanisation processes and strategies worldwide. Ewa Iwaszuk (Ecologic Institute) provides a commentary on the contribution of global cities to meeting the SDG13 within the ISPI Dossier "Global Cities in the Age of Covid-19: Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development".