Published in April 2021, this policy brief identifies four options for increased multilateral cooperation that support an international shift towards sustainable food systems and help to increase the global 2030 climate ambition at the same time. The identified initiatives focus on activities that reduce food loss and waste and support plant based diets, following a 'food systems approach.'
Legally binding reduction targets for Member States have been the backbone of EU climate policies since 2009. At a moment where the EU increases its climate ambition significantly, reduction targets for Member States must continue. They should be the unequivocal starting point of reforms to make EU climate rules fit for the EU's new climate targets – a new Ecologic Institute policy brief explains why.
Governments around the world are seeking to improve the way they organize their climate policy-making. Many countries are adopting national framework laws to do so. Choosing the right design is key for making these laws effective. This paper provides an update on the core elements of ten European climate laws and identifies several best practice lessons that could inform future climate law design.
This policy brief provides an overview of the wide range of socio-economic benefits that nature-based solutions can generate. Co-authors IEEP and Ecologic Institute highlight the central role that such solutions can play in meeting the EU's 2030 commitments on climate action and biodiversity and identify recommendations to enhance their uptake. The paper is available for download.
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.
This FIThydro Brief, written by Ecologic Institute's Hugh McDonald and Gerardo Anzaldúa, assesses the current and future demand for fish-friendly hydropower in Europe. It concludes that EU and national policy and economic developments offer a chance to innovate and address rising social and environmental concerns about hydropower's negative impacts.
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.
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.
The FIThydro Policy Brief presents summaries of selected key outputs from the H2020 FIThydro project, which are relevant for policy makers, managers and operators involved in the commissioning and operation of hydropower plants.
The multifunctional character of nature-based solutions enables them to provide responses to both social and environmental challenges. This policy brief provides gaps and opportunities to sustainable urban development through NBS at local and national as well as EU and international level. It also analyses local needs from the European and international levels.
This policy brief synthesises the latest results from the COACCH project on the economic costs of climate change in Europe and identifies areas of possible discussion to explore with stakeholders at the second COACCH workshop. The policy brief is available for download.
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.
Climate planning for 2050 has become a core strand of debate in the European Union. Focus has shifted to a potential revision of the EU's long-term climate objectives within the context of a new 2050 strategy, which is to be submitted to the United Nations under the Paris Agreement by 2020. In parallel, all EU Member States must develop national strategies of their own, albeit with little central guidance and no overarching structure in place for collaboration.
A report by Ecologic Institute and Climact shows that the draft National Energy and Climate Plans presented by governments at the start of 2019 are in acute need of improvement. They suffer from inadequate targets and insufficient details on the policies and financing needed to move towards net-zero emission economies in Europe. Member States also need to do better in involving their national stakeholders in providing input to the plans, to benefit from their expertise and to get them on board for future policies. The report is available for download.