Researchers and the international community today are essentially in agreement: global warming cannot surpass an increase of two degrees Celsius if dangerous, irreversible and uncontrollable consequences for the environment and society are to be avoided. Protection measures taken by the international community are also pursuing this goal, and yet they leave out adequate mandates for the minimisation of green house gas emission. Read more
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Geo-Engineering und das Recht, die Welt zu verändern
The debate about geo-engineering is unstoppable. Strong interests push for research and experimental application. Geo-engineering is a play for time, at best, but always also a dangerous deviation from emission reduction and climate change adaptation. Properly conducted, the debate can help clarify the design of international institutions, argue R. Andreas Kraemer and Ralph Czarnecki of the Ecologic Institute in an article in Internationale Politik, Germany's leading foreign policy magazine.Read more
In a seminal online article in Internationale Politik, Germany's leading foreign policy magazine, Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Senior Policy Advisor of Ecologic Institute, and Martin Kremer address the newly appointed German Minister of Foreign Affairs with six recommendations for the development of an active climate foreign policy (in German).
How the Debate on Biofuel Standards Sparks Innovative Ideas for the General Future of Standardisation and Certification Schemes
The expanding use of biomass as an energy source has been accompanied by a growing range of certification and standard-setting schemes in an attempt to ensure the sustainability of biofuel production. The result has added to the confusion in an already crowded certification market, but an opportunity to develop a streamlined global standard-setting system arises from this complexity. In this article, Timo Kaphengst, Mandy Ma and Stephanie Schlegel of Ecologic Institute outline how some of the innovative ideas coming from the biofuel certification and standardisation discussions can be applied to create a global generic standard-setting scheme for natural resources.Read more
Deforestation is responsible for roughly one fifth of global carbon emissions, most of it in the tropical forests of the developing world. At the Copenhagen climate talks, negotiators discussed a potential new mechanism to compensate nations for keeping their forests intact. The article by Duncan Brack and Katharina Umpfenbach looks at these REDD proposals (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), arguing that carbon finance alone might not be enough to stop deforestation – unless part of it is spent upfront on improving forest governance.Read more
Welche Governance - Formen eignen sich?
Environmental policy integration, i.e. the integration of environmental concerns into other policy fields, is becoming increasingly important. But how does environmental policy integration relate to different modes of governance? In their article, Ingmar von Homeyer and Doris Knoblauch present the results of the EPIGOV project.
Germany at the Crossroads
The greatest concern in Germany regarding climate change is that developments around the world might harm political stability in other countries, result in a loss of trade, induce migration, and ultimately cause conflict. In this article, R. Andreas Kraemer from the Ecologic Institute describes how Germany deals with this issue by proactively developing new energy solutions, setting effective energy policies domestically, and promoting good climate policy abroad.Read more
This article explores options for linking emissions trading systems. Combining markets could have many positive benefits (including reducing the costs of compliance), but there are drawbacks. In the short term, however, direct bilateral linkages will be difficult, and achieving the EU-objective of OECD-wide emissions trading by 2015 is therefore ambitious. International negotiations will overcome some of the barriers to linkages and expedite the integration of carbon markets. Michael Mehling of the Ecologic Institute in Washington DC co-authored this article.Read more
Linking emissions trading schemes has currently attracted much interest as a means of reducing compliance costs, expanding market size and liquidity, and reducing price volatility. The US and Canada are developing federal emissions trading systems, and Mexico is developing an emissions cap for its cement and oil sectors. Strong economic ties imply that linking the systems could become desirable. Linking systems can have both positive and negative implications, but once the decision has been made, framework and policy harmonization is vital to establish and maintain a successful link. Michael Mehling of the Ecologic Institute in Washington DC co-authored this article.Read more
In the current political debate, justice seems equivalent with even income distribution. Other justice aspects appear absent: studies show that low-income groups suffer more from pollution than high-income groups. This includes noise, air pollution and lack of accessible green spaces. At the same time, higher-income groups consume more resources than the poor. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf discusses in brief these issues in the MigrantInnenUmweltZeitschrift (MUZ), Issue 2.Read more