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Publications – Ecologic Legal

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Improving International Soil Governance

Analysis and recommendations
This research report by Ecologic Institute identifies ways in which Germany can improve international soil governance in the short, medium and long term. It begins with an inventory of existing international instruments and institutions relevant to soil governance at the international level. It assesses the actual and potential steering effects of international treaties such as the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the climate regime as well as regional agreements. It also analyses the activities of FAO, UNEP, IPBES and the activities of the IPCC.Read more

International Governance for Environmentally Sound Supply of Raw Materials – Policy Options and Recommendations

Final Report
This research report of the Ecologic Institute addresses how Germany can contribute, through international governance, to reduce the environmental impacts of mining activities outside its territory. It provides a stocktake of existing governance approaches at the international level or with transboundary effect. It then develops specific policy options and recommendations for the German federal government to strengthen international governance for an environmentally sound supply of raw materials.Read more

Das Bundes-Klimaschutzgesetz

Dr. Stephan Sina, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Legal, has published an article on the Federal Climate Protection Act in the first edition of this year's Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht (NVwZ). The contribution is a joint effort by several authors, two of them officials at the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) who have worked on the Climate Protection Act. The article presents the main elements of the new law and discusses its legal and practical impact. It can be obtained via the website of the NVwZ.Read more

Klimapolitik trennt Europa nicht

Public opinion seems to have settled on the conviction that the climate crisis is Europe's latest political divide - after migration, the Euro and conflicts over the rule of law. But there is another story that needs to be told. Climate policies have always been contentious. They are bound to be. But contrary to the growing perception of climate policies as Europe's new political divide, climate is a policy field where Europe works together, writes Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in the Tagesspiegel.Read more

A European Climate Law – What Should It Look Like?

Ursula von der Leyen, the new President of the European Commission, took office today, on 1 December 2019. As one of her first proposals, she promised to propose a European Climate Law in the first 100 days of her term in office. This 'Law' is a critical step to make Europe climate neutral. It can close gaps in existing EU climate rules. These gaps will impede the EU from becoming climate neutral before 2050. A new paper by Ecologic Institute discusses what a European Climate Law should look like, and how it could close existing gaps. The paper is available for download.Read more

A Treaty on Plastic Waste

Discussion paper
The discussion paper presents the rationale for a new treaty on tackling plastic waste and highlights its possible added value. The objective would be to reduce marine plastic litter through a comprehensive approach that also includes land-based sources, a life cycle approach to plastic and is open to future developments. The purpose would not be to prohibit plastics as such.Read more

The Future of the EU – Background Paper

Compromises for expanding ordinary legislative procedure and majority voting in climate and energy policies
The EU adopts essential climate issues – such as carbon taxation – by special legislative procedures. This means that the European Parliament is not an equal co-legislator and the Council decides by unanimous vote, providing each Member State with a veto. This is a problem because the urgency of climate action requires swift and bold EU action. EU climate action cannot afford a governance structure that allows one Member State to hold all others hostage in essential areas of climate action. A new Ecologic paper explores how to address this problem.Read more

Status quo und Weiterentwicklung des Umweltstrafrechts und anderer Sanktionen

Instrumente zur Verbesserung der Befolgung von Umweltrecht (Compliance)
A 2018 report co-published by Interpol estimates the annual turnover generated by environmental crime at 110 - 281 billion US dollars. Environmental crime causes significant damage to the environment and public health. This report presents insights on environmental criminal law and its application in Germany. It is the result of a research project carried out by Ecologic Institute for the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). The report is available for download.Read more

Landesklimaschutzgesetze in Deutschland

Überblick und Bedeutung für ein Klimaschutzgesetz des Bundes
In the current debate about a Federal Climate Change Act, people often overlook that in Germany about half of the federal states already have a climate change law as a comprehensive legal framework. In a study for WWF Germany, Ecologic Institute gives an overview over core elements of federal climate change laws and their impact on a potential Federal Climate Change Act. The study underlines the added value of such climate change laws. It concludes that climate change laws at the federal and state levels are not only compatible but strengthen each other. The study can be downloaded at the WWF website.Read more

Klimaschutzgesetze in Europa

Überblick und Bedeutung für ein deutsches Klimaschutzgesetz
This study by Ecologic Institute shows that Germany can learn a lot from experiences made in its neighbouring countries to give its climate policies a robust framework and thus make it more reliable, also for investments in climate-friendly measures. At the same time, Germany could establish a new standard through legislation adapted to the latest EU requirements, which would than again serve as an example for our neighbours.Read more

Geeignete Rechtsinstrumente für die nationale Umsetzung der bodenbezogenen sustainable development goals, insbesondere des Ziels einer "land degradation neutral world"

Abschlussbericht
The research report by Ecologic Institute provides a legal assessment of whether German law is suitable to achieve the sustainable development goal "land degradation neutral word" (LDN) by 2030, and recommends options for improvement. The analysis focuses on rules for erosion, sealing by human settlement and pollution by industry. The report also compiles and explains key insights and lessons learned in English, as a contribution to the international discussion on implementing LDN. The report is available for download.Read more

How Can We Make the Energiewende Digital and Sustainable?

The Energiewende means a transition from the old, nuclear-and-coal based, to a sustainable and digitalized energy system. This is a complex endeavor: the number of actors involved increases and their functions overlap. While digital technologies bring automation and potential for relief, they are an ambivalent phenomenon: with no comprehensive laws on data protection, it is unclear what is going to happen to the tremendous amount of data collected by digital appliances. Besides, technologies like blockchain are often so energy-intensive that they eat up the amount of resources that they are trying to save. Therefore, political design must actively shape a digital and ecologically sustainable energy transition – it will not happen by itself.Read more

A Climate Law for Europe

Making the Paris Agreement Real
The EU's current rules on climate action are comprehensive and detailed. However, they lack many of these features. In this sense, the existing EU acquis falls short of what countries and regions have adopted. It also falls short of what the full implementation of the Paris Agreement implies. The Regulation on Governance for the Energy Union and Climate Action addresses a number of existing shortcomings. It is a strong foundation for a Climate Law for Europe. However, gaps remain that should be filled in a reform. These are the main findings of a recently updated paper of Ecologic Institute, which is available for download.Read more

Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform

potential governance arrangements under the Paris Agreement
The Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIP Platform) was established in Paris in 2015, but its operationalization is still ongoing. The LCIP Platform could provide an important next step towards a nuanced inclusion of specific non-Party stakeholders in the UNFCCC process. Based on the negotiation process for the Platform and on current modes of participation of non-Party stakeholders, this report develops a toolkit of governance elements for the Platform. The report, written by Arne Riedel and Ralph Bodle, both of Ecologic Institute, is available for download.Read more

Substance and Style – How the WTO Adjudicators Legitimize their Decisions

The dispute settlement mechanism of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is one of the most active international courts. How the WTO's adjudicators decide cases is the topic of a book chapter authored by Christiane Gerstetter, Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute. The book, entiteld "The Judicialization of International Law: A Mixed Blessing?" is edited by Andreas Follesdal and Geir Ulfstein and published by Oxford University Press. It deals with the influence of decisions by international courts on international law.Read more

Implementing Land Degradation Neutrality at National Level

Legal Instruments in Germany
In this chapter Ecologic Institute's Dr. Ralph Bodle analyses the legal instruments and regulatory approaches in German law for achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN). Section 1 outlines the conceptual components of LDN that the law has to address: preventing degradation, restoring degraded land, offsetting degradation at project level and land-use planning and management. Section 2 analyses which legal mechanisms German law provides to address all conceptual components of LDN. The assessment and conclusion in Sect. 3 argue that despite a range of legal provisions and instruments in German law that protect soil, the absence of an overarching holistic concept is a fundamental shortcoming also with regard to LDN.Read more

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