A democratic dialogue with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and the society is considered necessary for the transformation to a sustainable bio-based economy. As such, several dedicated bioeconomy strategies across Europe and beyond outline objectives towards broader stakeholder and public engagement. In this book chapter Zoritza Kiresiewa, Laurens Duin and Holger Gerdes address the degree of participation and the role of the individual actor groups and society in strategy development processes and recommend concrete actions for more inclusive and effective stakeholder and public engagement.
This chapter provides an overview of public perception of hydropower projects, describes methods for studying public acceptance and presents an application of the Q-methodology in four Europe case studies from hydropower-intensive regions. The chapter, written by Mandy Hinzmann, Holger Gerdes (both Ecologic Institute) and Terese E. Venus is available for download.
Hydropower is at the cross-road of different policies on renewable energy, climate change, water and nature. Knowledge of current policies and regulations at different levels is crucial for understanding the framework conditions for more sustainable hydropower. In this chapter, Ecologic Institute's Dr. Eleftheria Kampa examines the role of policy in planning and implementing mitigation actions for European hydropower. The chapter is available for download.
Germany's Polar research activities contribute to numerous initiatives and include links to climate and biodiversity protection. To prepare for future challenges and address the most pressing issues, the federal government launched a process to develop a new polar research agenda. On 19 May 2021, the steering group of the process including Ecologic Institute's Arne Riedel, handed over the concept paper on the "Changing Polar Regions" developed by over 100 experts to the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.
Based on a stocktake, we present options to improve international soil governance in the short, medium and long term. The stocktake includes existing international instruments and institutions that are relevant for soil protection and its governance at the international level. It assesses the actual and potential steering effect of, inter alia, the Desertification Convention, the Biodiversity Convention, the Paris Agreement and climate regime, regional treaties, FAO, UNEP, IPBES and IPCC.
How can think tanks help pave the path to a sustainable future in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and a rapidly changing policy landscape? Dr. Camilla Bausch and R. Andreas Kraemer address this question in the chapter "Think Tanks for Future" and make recommendations on how think tanks can adapt their work to reflect the pressing concerns of the future.
National framework laws represent the most concrete form in which climate governance systems are being established. Globally, the number of such framework laws is growing, with the majority arising around the time of the adoption of the Paris Agreement or shortly thereafter – especially those that include a long-term time horizon (e.g., 2050). Even without a detailed empirical analysis, arguably there has been an evident 'Paris momentum' behind the spread of these national climate laws. In chapter 2 "‘Paris Compatible’ Climate Change Acts? National Framework Legislation in an International World" of the book "National Climate Change Acts. The Emergence, Form and Nature of National Framework Climate Legislation", Matthias Duwe and Dr. Ralph Bodle show how national climate policy is at least partly determined by obligations at the supranational level, in particular of the European Union (EU), and at the international level.
Published by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences a new book deals with the reduction of food loss and waste globally. It includes an article that sums up results of the EU research project REFRESH, and in particular the work on policies to reduce consumer food waste, lead by the Ecologic Institute. The book is available for download.
This article by Doris Knoblauch and Hannes Schritt (both Ecologic Institute) is part of the anthology "Einfach weglassen? Ein wissenschaftliches Lesebuch zur Reduktion von Plastikverpackungen im Lebensmittelhandel" (Simply Omit? A Scientific Reader on the Reduction of Plastic Packaging in the Food Trade). It deals with the emergence of plastic packaging in Germany and its known environmental impacts. The authors demonstrate that there is a close correlation between the amount of plastic packaging produced and the gross domestic product (GDP) - which, interestingly, is stronger than the correlation between GDP and packaging overall. In this context, avoidance strategies and improvement options for the circular economy are discussed.
The discussion about plastic waste is anything but new for German municipalities. In fact, as early as the 1980s, numerous German municipalities were experimenting with plastic waste prevention regulations and waste prevention in general. A further impetus for plastic waste prevention was provided in the early 1990s with the discussions on the introduction of a nationwide packaging ordinance. After almost three decades of stagnation – including setbacks with regard to the expansion of return systems and the increase of single-use packaging – the issue of plastic prevention and packaging reduction in municipalities is now receiving renewed attention as a result of increased societal awareness and political regulations at EU level.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are increasingly employed as a tool to protect Europe's swiftly declining marine biodiversity. However, despite increasing coverage, MPA effectiveness and equity is considered highly variable. Concurrently, Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) – that is, management that aims to protect, restore, or enhance the resilience and sustainability of an ecosystem to ensure sustainable flows of ecosystem services and conserve its biodiversity – is growing in prominence.
In this chapter Ewa Iwaszuk, Linda Mederake and Doris Knoblauch (all Ecologic Institute) analyse the extent to which municipal long-term climate strategies contain formulations and measures aimed at promoting urban transformative change (defined as non-linear change for sustainability that profoundly transforms cities and the systems they form part of). The methodology is applied to the strategies of three cities from around the world (Austin, Texas, USA; Berlin, Germany; Melbourne, Australia) to understand the extent to which the visions outlined in these local-level strategies can be said to be transformative.
On 7 October 2019, Eurostat published its most recent flagship publication "Smarter, greener, more inclusive?". The report assesses the EU's progress in implementing the Europe 2020 strategy. Commissioned by Eurostat, Katharina Umpfenbach and Amely Gundlach of Ecologic Institute edited the chapter on climate change and energy. It discusses progress towards the so-called 20-20-20 targets which aim at cutting EU greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable energy supply, and improving energy efficiency. The publication is available for download.
The book "Facing hydrometeorological extremes: a governance issue" collects field investigation from several EU research projects on hydrometeorological extreme events and the successful examples of multilevel governance in response to them. Scientists from Ecologic Institute led or contributed on three book chapters, summarizing the regulatory framework as well as focusing on specific case studies. In this chapter Rodrigo Vidaurre presents an analysis of drought governance in the Eifel‐Rur region of Germany.
The book "Facing hydrometeorological extremes: a governance issue" collects field investigation from several EU research projects on hydrometeorological extreme events and the successful examples of multilevel governance in response to them. Scientists from Ecologic Institute led or contributed on three book chapters, summarizing the regulatory framework as well as focusing on specific case studies. In Chapter III Jenny Tröltzsch presents a summary of the governance analysis of drought‐related issues in the Flanders region of Belgium.