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Publications – Ecologic Institute EU

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Von Äpfeln und Birnen

The EU is discussing whether its 2030 climate target should be a net target or gross target. Net targets treat CO2 removal and greenhouse gas emission reductions the same, although they are fundamentally different. To avoid a major step backwards, the EU should formulate separate targets for emissions reductions and CO2 removal, argues Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in his contribution to the Tagesspiegel.Read more

Strengthening Coordination in River Basin Governance in Southern Spain

cooperation, incentives and persuasion
This Briefing Paper examines coordination and implementation challenges between the water and agricultural sectors in relation to water quantity in the context of WFD implementation in the Spanish Guadalquivir river basin. The challenges are interlinked by the underlying difficulty of imposing unpopular decisions against the will of powerful actors in the agricultural sector. To address these challenges, the authors suggest various coordination instruments based on incentives, voluntary cooperation, persuasion and information exchange.The Briefing Paper presents one of six analyses of cross-sectoral coordination challenges that were conducted as part of the STEER research project and on which separate Briefing Papers are available.Read more

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
Publication

Why the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility Must Prioritise Investments in Building Renovation

A short think piece
Modernising the EU's building stock is essential to meet the twin goals of climate action and green recovery. The building sector is responsible for 27 % of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and for 36 % of energy-related GHG emissions when considering direct and indirect GHG emissions. According to the European Commission, building renovation rates must double to contribute to the envisioned 55 % emission reduction by 2030 – and this in turn is vital to go climate neutral by 2050.Read more

Nature-based Solutions: Harnessing the potential for ambitious post-2020 biodiversity outcomes

A continuing decline in biodiversity, accelerating impacts of climate change, and the urgency of ensuring a sustainable and just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic are generating unprecedented momentum behind the imperative of working with nature to address societal challenges. In this policy brief, McKenna Davis and Harriet Bulkeley (Durham University) highlight the importance of prioritizing nature-based solutions in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and supporting their uptake within and beyond the biodiversity community. Read more

Coordination and Cooperation of Water Management, Nature Conservation and Open Space Development in the Emscher Restoration

The completed governance analysis shows that coordination in the Emscher catchment area is already effective. There is room for improvement when it comes to involving citizens and planning processes should also be characterised by a higher degree of flexibility. The analysis provides recommendations. This paper constitutes one of six analyses of cross-sectoral challenges in water governance. These have been conducted as part of the STEER research project and results are published in separate analyses and position papers.Read more

Guía para la integración de las Soluciones Basadas en la Naturaleza en la planifcación urbana

primera aproximación para colombia
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are emerging as a tool to integrate nature into territorial planning, with great opportunities to address these threats and benefit humans and ecosystems in parallel. The guide for integrating nature-based solutions in urban planning, a first approach for Colombia has been developed to facilitate the inclusion of nature in urban planning through a seven-step process. The guide was written by Carolina Figueroa during her time at Ecologic Institute as an Alexander von Humboldt International Climate Protection Fellow. The guide is available for download.Read more

Key Mitigation Options to Close the Global 2030 Ambition and Action Gap

Achieving the Paris Agreement Long-term temperature goal (PA LTTG) requires closing the 2030 ambition and action gap between emissions levels consistent with the Paris Agreement and emissions levels projected with current targets and policies. G20 countries have a crucial role to play in realising increased climate policy ambition, given their economic power and prosperity, as well as their influence on investments, technology deployment and financial flows. This briefing paper provides an overview of mitigation options that have been analysed in recent literature and that can contribute to closing the emissions gap in 2030. This provides the basis to identify key policy areas and promising options for intergovernmental cooperation between the G20 nations, as well as possibly other relevant actors.Read more

Handlungsoptionen einer nachhaltigen Bioökonomiepolitik

Wo ein Wille ist, ist auch ein Weg
Bioeconomy currently enjoys a high political priority; at the same time, the concept, which last received a boost in 2018 in the form of the updated EU Bioeconomy Strategy, is not without controversy and contains many conflicting goals. This is where the article by Zoritza Kiresiewa (Ecologic Institute), Franziska Wolff and Martin Möller (both Öko-Institut e.V.) comes in. The authors argue that bioeconomy can only contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals if the political framework is appropriate. Whether or not strategies will have an impact depends on each individual case. Bioeconomy pathways should be designed and tested accordingly.Read more
Publication

State of Nature in the EU

Results from reporting under the nature directives 2013-2018
The European Environmental Agency (EEA) published their landmark report on the state of nature in the EU on 19 October 2020, representing the most comprehensive assessment of the status of European nature and biodiversity to date. The State of Nature 2020 provides invaluable insights about the impact of conservation measures that have been applied as well as remaining gaps. The findings indicate that the majority of Europe's biodiversity continues to decline at an alarming rate, threatening the survival of thousands of animal species and habitats. Read more

Addressing Climate Change in Cities – Policy Instruments to Promote Urban Nature-based Solutions

Nature-based solutions (NBS) are solutions that are inspired and supported by nature. They can be used in urban settings to complement or replace "traditional" or "grey" solutions to social and environmental challenges, such as air pollution, the heat island effect, water scarcity, flooding, loss of nature and lack of social cohesion. This guidance document highlights a range of policy and supporting instruments relevant for NBS design, implementation and maintenance.Read more

Ecosystem-Based Management, Ecosystem Services and Aquatic Biodiversity

Theory, Tools and Applications
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is the most promising approach for balancing sustainable development and biodiversity protection in aquatic ecosystems. This book introduces the essential concepts and principles required to implement Ecosystem-Based Management, detailing tools and techniques, and describing the application of these concepts and tools. This book is a joint effort with researchers from Ecologic Institute, the University College of Cork in the Republic of Ireland and the US Environment Protection Agency and can be accessed free of charge. Read more

Online Database: Sustainable Development Goal 12 – Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns

sdg12.de/en
SDG 12 'Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns' aims at the necessary changes in our lifestyles and ways of doing business. Together with Adelphi and Wuppertal Institute Ecologic Institute set-up a database of activities in Germany, which contribute to implementing SDG12 in Germany. The database currently comprises more than 120 activities, including civil society and business initiatives as well as policy programs and actions.Read more

Unsere Bäche und Flüsse

renaturieren – entwickeln – naturnah unterhalten
This brochure provides insights into the contents of the Federal Environment Agency's online information platform "River restoration". The aim of the platform and this brochure is to motivate and support potential actors for increased implementation of river restoration measures. Therefore, basic knowledge on the ecological development of rivers and brooks is provided in a clear and understandable way. It also provides information on practical issues of planning, financing and land provision, but also on flood protection, nature conservation, agriculture and recreation. Restoration project examples further illustrate these topics. The brochure is available for download.Read more
Publication

EU Framework for CO2 Removals – Targets and Commitments

The new EU climate architecture should include a separate CDR target that builds primarily on restoring degraded ecosystems. This target should be legally binding and quantified – for the EU and Member States. It should not be a combined target which treats reductions and CDRs equally. This EU's CDR target should be enshrined in the European Climate Law.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

Policy Matrix – Screening of Digital, Data and Water Policies

Starting points for untapped potential of ICT solutions in water managemen
In this publication, Doris Knoblauch (Ecologic Institute), Lorenzo Felicetti, and Ulf Stein (Ecologic Institute) shed light on the untapped potential of ICT solutions in water management across Berlin, Milan, Copenhagen, Paris and Sofia, the five cities analysed in the project digital-water.city. In the analysis, the cross-cutting nature of digital water governance, and thereby its multifunctionality in terms of policy goals became evident.Read more

Die Zukunft im Blick: Fleisch der Zukunft

Trendbericht zur Abschätzung der Umweltwirkungen von pflanzlichen Fleischersatzprodukten, essbaren Insekten und In-vitro-Fleisch
In July 2020, the Federal Environment Agency published the trend report "Meat of the Future", which analyzes the environmental impacts of plant-based meat substitutes, edible insects and in-vitro meat. Ecologic Institute developed policy options on how the market development of meat alternatives can be better aligned with the goal of sustainability.Read more

Perception of Bottlenecks in the Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive

In this paper the authors, among them Ecologic Institute's Ulf Stein, focus on the governmental bottlenecks in the Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive. The lack of horizontal, inter-sectoral communication; the insufficient land reserves; human resources and; the lack of financing were the areas that emerged as the most pressing issues. Further evidence suggests that the interaction of the WFD with other policy areas regulated at the European level might require closer inspection.Read more

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