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
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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.
In a discussion paper for the recently launched Forum for Atlantic Climate and Energy Talks (FACET), Camilla Bausch and Michael Mehling look back on the recent negotiations at the U.N. climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, and analyse the implications of the "Bali Roadmap" for the future of the international climate regime.
More than any previous year, 2007 saw momentum build for concerted international action on climate change. With a lively public debate and several high-profile events, global warming enjoyed unprecedented media attention and also a prominent place on the political agenda as the year came to an end. In this article Camilla Bausch, Head of Energy and Climate at Ecologic, and Michael Mehling, Head of the Ecologic office in Washington, D.C., review central developments in the area of international climate policy in the last quarter of 2007. Read more
Finding a place for public participation in the policies and practices of European river basin management planning is a challenge for the authorities in the participating countries and territories. Understanding the relationship between national culture, the historical and political differences in the respective countries, and their practical experience with participation is considered important in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. Knowledge and understanding of this relationship will help to provide a context and basis from which new participatory practices can be designed and experiences evaluated and will also facilitate the identification of conditions necessary for social learning. Read more
The EU has set ambitious targets to raise the share of renewable energies, particularly biofuels. This article, written by Stephanie Schlegel and Timo Kaphengst, discusses the role that bioenergy plays in the European policy context and the approach the EU is currently following to ensure the sustainability of biofuels. It addresses the limits of the chosen approach, concluding that certification schemes can not serve as the only safeguard for sustainable bioenergy but need to be complemented by other tools and policies.Read more