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Economics

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Why the EU Needs an Emission Budget

What matters for the climate is the total amount of emissions and removals over time and corresponding levels of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration. The current focus on reductions achieved as of a specific moment in time disguises this. Emission budgets that quantify the total amount of permissible emissions would address this problem. The EU should establish an emission budget within its Climate Law. This emission budget should include all GHG emissions, not only CO2. These are some of the key findings of this briefing paper.Read more

Analysing the Impact Assessment on Raising the EU 2030 Climate Target

How does the European Commission's approach compare with other existing studies?
On 17 September 2020, the European Commission proposed to raise the EU climate target for 2030, so as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990. In this policy brief, CLIMACT and Ecologic Institute unpack the Commission's impact assessment for the new target. The brief analyses key policy options and analytical results and compares them to recent studies, in particular CLIMACT's 2030 modelling results. Within the framework of the tightened target, the EU Commission proposes to extend the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to buildings and road transport – a major change to the EU's current climate policy architecture. The team discusses potential implications and provides context to the sectoral developments and policies. The briefing highlights key points where the Commission diverges from other studies, identifying climate mitigation potentials that merit more attention in future analysis.Read more

Energy-intensive Industries

Challenges and opportunities in energy transition
For energy-intensive industries, the transformation towards a climate-neutral form of production is a particular challenge, not only because of their large carbon footprints, but also because they are embedded in value chains that are still predominantly fossil-based. However, they too are part of the effort to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and at the same time accelerate the transition by providing competitive clean technology solutions. This study explores how European energy-instensive industries can transition to a climate-neutral economy while maintaining, and ideally improving, its global competitiveness. It investigates different technology options, policy designs and financial instruments. Read more

EU-Coronamilliarden noch ohne feste Klimakriterien

Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf comments on the EU corona aid package in Tagesspiegel Background. He calls for the EU Parliament to have a greater say in the matter and criticises that the aid programme is not sufficiently linked to the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.Read more

Europe's Economic Recovery – Climate Neutral, Fair and Innovative

The Corona crisis offers three important lessons for climate policies and Europe's economic recovery. First, systemic shocks – like the Corona pandemic or climate change – affect the foundations of modern societies. Second, resiliency, preparedness and time are existential factors in addressing systemic crises. Third, the world’s economic recovery must help build efficient, innovative and climate neutral economies. In turn, calls to delay climate policies draw the wrong lessons from the current crisis and undermine Europe's economic recovery. All countries, including the EU, must accelerate their emission reductions drastically.Read more

Think Sustainable Europe: New Think Tank Network Launched

Facing fundamental challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss, Europe needs to accelerate the speed and ambition of action and policies. These policies and action need to be informed by science. To this end, leading sustainability think tanks joined together to form Think Sustainable Europe, a network dedicated to providing policymakers across the continent with sound analysis and recommendations.

Lessons from the 2009 Economic Stimulus Programs – Analyses by Ecologic Institute

In 2009, many countries adopted economic stimulus programs to combat the economic crisis. The United Nations estimated that these programs totaled three trillion Dollar. The Ecologic Institute analyzed the environmental impacts of the 2009 economic stimulus programs in Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria, Slovenia, the USA, China, Japan, South Korea and the measures taken by the EU.

Europe's Recovery Plans Must Pass Five Sustainability Tests

Faced with the COVID-19 crisis, there is great temptation for recovery plans to prop up yesterday's economy. Instead, recovery plans and any economic stimulus must "build back better" and contribute to a resilient and sustainable future. In an EURACTIV op-ed, the directors of five leading think tanks and founders of the new Think Sustainable Europe network argue that any stimulus must be informed by science, strengthen resilience as well as solidarity, support the transformation towards low-carbon, sustainable...Read more

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