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Ambitious Climate Policy Through Centralization?

Evidence from the European Union

Striking a balance between centralization and decentralization of competences is a challenge that dates to the start of European integration. There are some drivers that work towards greater centralization of EU climate policies – the need for enhanced climate action, electricity market integration and a realization of the Energy Union. At the same time, centralization in and of itself is not a guarantee for more ambitious or effective climate policies. In a new publication appearing in the journal Climate Policy authors Camilla Bausch and Benjamin Görlach of Ecologic Institute and Michael Mehling of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) trace the evolution and role of the centralization/decentralization debate in the context of EU climate policy. The article looks at emissions trading and the promotion of renewable energy as cases of centralization vs. decentralization, but cautions that this trend is neither smooth nor guaranteed to persist. In the dynamic and reflexive governance system of the EU, there is no one-size-fits-all, optimal balance between centralized and decentralized policy from a climate perspective.

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Implementation of Circular Economy Business Models by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and Enablers

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy and a key player to steer our economy towards a more circular model. However, their small size means that they face unique challenges on the path to closing loops and improving resource efficiency. In an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Sustainability, under lead authorship by Vasileios Rizos from CEPS, Terri Kafyeke, Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers, and other members of the GreenEcoNet project consortium explore barriers and opportunities faced by SMEs trying to become greener.Read more

Governance Regime Factors Conducive to Innovation Uptake in Urban Water Management

Experiences from Europe
Innovative ways to manage the urban water cycle are required to deal with an ageing drinking and waste water infrastructure and new societal imperatives. This paper examines the influence of water governance in enabling transformations and technological innovation uptake in urban water management. A governance assessment framework is developed and applied in three case-studies, examining different scales and types of innovations used to tackle challenges in European urban water management. The methodology combines documentary analysis and interviews to reconstruct historical storylines of the shift in the water governance of urban water management for each site. The research provides detailed empirical observations on the factors conducive to innovation uptake at the local level. Critical governance factors such as commitment to compromise, the necessity to build political support, and the role of "entrepreneurs" and coalitions are highlighted. The paper also explores the role of discursive strategies and partnership design, as well as that of regulative, economic and communicative instruments, in creating barriers and opportunities to initiate and secure change. A number of recommendations targeted at innovators and water managers are presented in the conclusion.Read more

Nährstoffkreisläufe in der Landwirtschaft schließen

Herausforderungen und Möglichkeiten in der Region Weser-Ems
Inefficient use of fertilizers in agriculture means that serious environmental problems are still being created 25 years after the entry into force of the nitrates directive. Using the example of the Weser-Ems region, Evelyn Lukat and Sandra Naumann from the Ecologic Institute describing ways to reduce such problems.Read more

A Systemic and Systematic Approach to the Development of a Policy Mix for Material Resource Efficiency

Increasing material use efficiency is important to mitigate future supply risks and minimize environmental impacts associated with the production of materials. The policy mix presented in this paper aims to contribute to reducing the use of virgin metals in the EU by 80% by 2050 without significantly shifting burdens to other material resources, the environmental or other parts of the world. The article, which was written with the collaboration of Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers (Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute), is available for download.Read more
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Promoting Innovation Through the Assessment of Changes in Fresh Water Ecosystem Services

The DESSIN ESS Evaluation Framework
Members of the research team of the European water research project DESSIN, a four-year EU-funded FP7 project, published an article in the GAWT Magazine. Authored by Gerardo Anzaldua, Sarah Beyer and Manuel Lago from Ecologic Institute, Nadine Vanessa Gerner and Issa Nafo from the Emschergenossenschaft and Sebastian Birk from the University of Duisburg-Essen, the article provides insights on key findings and presents the evaluation framework developed during the project. The article is available for download.Read more

New Approaches & Technologies For Tackling Emerging Pollutants In Drinking & Wastewater

In October 2015, DEMEAU, a three-year EU-funded FP7 project, made headlines in the release of the German American Water Technology (GAWT) Magazine. The cover of the latest edition of the magazine features the article entitled "New Approaches & Technologies for Tackling Emerging Pollutants in Drinking & Wastewater." The article authored by Ecologic Institute's Ulf Stein, Evelyn Lukat, and Anna Bee Szendrenyi sheds light on key findings from the DEMEAU project, which recently concluded in August 2015. The article is available for download.Read more

New Search Engine: Green Indicators for All!

Marius Hasenheit, Junior Researcher at Ecologic Institute, wrote an article about the interactive search engine "measuring-progress.eu" for Green Economy Indictors for the online magazine RESET. To draw interest of people who are not often dealing with Green Economy Indicators, on this topic, he described the project in a vivid and way. In this context he depicted the relevance of indicators in most of the fields of environmental policy and furthermore invited the readers to try out the tool and provide feedback.Read more

Die Neufassung des Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetzes

Im Rahmen des integrierten Energie- und Klimapakets
This article describes the important changes to the Renewable Energy Sources Act due to the amendment within the framework of the Integrated Energy and Climate Programme of the German government. The article is published in issue 3, volume 19, Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht.




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