The hope for a reversal in the growth of greenhouse gas emissions – especially CO2-emissions – was not fulfilled again this year. Nevertheless, greenhouse gas emissions in Annex-B-countries, which (with the exception of the USA) committed to emissions caps or reductions, decreased in 2007 by 0.7% from 2006 levels – by 16% from 1990 levels. Ecologic Policy Advisor Hans-Joachim Ziesing’s article, published in "Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen" Vol. 58, Issue 9, presents an overview of trends in the development of global C02 emissions and greenhouse gas emissions in Annex-B-countries, from 1990 to 2007. Read more
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No international regime operates in complete isolation from other regimes and the wider body of international law. Conflicts and tensions, but also potential synergies, are inevitable consequences of regime coexistence. Such interactions are particularly apparent in the case of the climate regime, which is analysed in this article in relation to the international law on biodiversity protection and free trade.Read more
The Water Framework Directive acts as a driver for integrated water management in EU member states. In this paper, Eleftheria Kampa, Fellow at Ecologic, and Hans Bressers, Professor at the University of Twente, use a conceptual framework from institutional resource regime theory to characterize and explain the development of the Greek national water regime in terms of integration. The article was published in the Journal "Water Policy" 10/5.Read more
Folgt die Wasserwirtschaft dem falschen Ansatz?
Since the 1992 Dublin and Rio de Janeiro conferences, the river basin approach to the management of water resources has become more and more established. This trend reached its preliminary apex in Europe with the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which binds all Member States to this approach in order to achieve its ambitious goals. In the issue 7/2008 of the journal "KW Korrespondenz Wasserwirtschaft", Stefan von Keitz (biologist) and Peter Kessler (lawyer), Senior Policy Advisor with Ecologic, put this approach to test and deliver a series of arguments for a restricted use of the river basin management approach. In the journal’s following issue (8/2008), Prof. Uwe Grünewald (hydrologist) disagrees with this position and argues for a consistent application of an integrated water management approach with the river basin as its basic unit. Read more
More and more instruments require the internalisation of greenhouse gas emissions costs. Yet it is very unlikely that a single global price for carbon will prevail. A frequently voiced concern is that states with stringent climate policies will place domestic industries at a disadvantage relative to competitors in states with less ambitious climate efforts. In this chapter, published in the briefing paper "Competitive distortions and leakage in a world of different carbon prices" for the European Parliament, the Ecologic authors Michael Mehling, Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf und Ralph Czarnecki analyse restrictive trade measures to offset the regulatory burden of climate policies, particularly border adjustments, from a legal point of view.Read more
Donor Interventions, Donor Responsibilities
Corruption in the development sector had been a ‘no issue’ until the beginning 1990’s. It was assumed that safeguards and controls were put in place somehow and that corruption could cause nothing worse than costs on top of development aid projects. Evidence has since been gathered that shows the lack of access to clean water supply, sanitation and sustainable ecological development is not due to a lack of natural resources nor of technical solutions: It is a crisis of governance. Grit Martinez, Fellow at Ecologic, and Kathleen Shordt elaborate the role and responsibilities of donors in the fight against corruption in the water sector. Read more
Past energy policies are largely to blame for climate change, and now, more than ever, the security implications demand a transformation of energy systems and infrastructure. In this commentary, R. Andreas Kraemer, Director of Ecologic, argues that such a transformation would be possible both technically and economically, but that it requires political will and coordinated action and would need to be accompanied by reform of international institutions.
International Law, Free Trade and the Environment
In recent years, the debate on trade and the environment seemed to lose some of its earlier controversy: after a string of highly polarizing cases before the WTO, the Appellate Body’s Article 21.5 Implementation Report in the Shrimp/Turtle case appeared to finally herald a period of reconciliation between free trade and environmental concerns. Upon closer analysis, however, this assessment proves to be misleading: as a matter of substantive law, the chasm between both issue areas is still substantial.Read more
An Assessment of the EU Commission Proposal for a Review of the Scheme
Based on the first three years of experience with the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the European Commission has put forward its proposals for a review of the scheme on 23 January 2008. This article by Benjamin Görlach, Olaf Hölzer-Schopohl, and Hauke Hermann, a Fellow with Ecologic, summarises some of the main changes proposed by the Commission in response to identified deficits, and outlines some of the most contentious points expected to feature prominently in further debate. Read more
Is there a legal right to weather? Weather modification technologies have been used for over 50 years. Clouds are seeded with chemicals in order to induce or prevent rain, hail or snow. In his article, Ralph Czarnecki, Senior Fellow at Ecologic, analyses perspectives on a future weather law against the background of scarcer precipitation and the ensuing problems such as "rain theft" and distributional justice.