In its last coalition agreement (2016-2021), the State of Berlin committed itself to the "Zero Waste" model in order to transform its waste management towards a circular economy. Re-using goods takes centre stage in this transformation. In the context of the political goal of strengthening the reuse of used goods, the project aims at supporting and executing re-use measures in Berlin in order to foster structures and actors in Berlin that bring the used goods market out of its niche. The Ecologic Institute supports the project for the Berlin Senate Administration by designing and conducting three virtual expert dialogues in Berlin.
Ecomodulation of fees can play a crucial role in incentivising upstream design changes by reducing the fees for products or packaging designed for circular economy. Products or packaging with circular design (e.g., a minimum percentage of recycled content, high reparability index, reduction in weight of material, shift from low to easily recyclable material(s)) could benefit from reduced fees, while those with design barriers, which are also often exported to developing countries for end-of-life treatment, could incur higher fees. Thus, ecomodulation of fees can play a vital role in prioritizing design for as waste prevention, reusability, reparability and recyclability. Against this background, this project run by Ecologic Institute focuses on the product streams batteries, plastic/packaging, textiles and waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE).
Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues. Calls for a global treaty to tackle plastic pollution have increased over the last years, discussions will continue at the next sessions of the UN Environment Assembly in February 2022. After the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics concluded its work in November 2020, various countries have started to prepare positions and forge alliances in preparation of these pending discussions.
In 2019, the EU and the countries of the South American trade bloc Mercosur concluded negotiations on a trade agreement. The negotiated text of the agreement includes a chapter on trade and sustainability. The rules on forest protection are weak, however, and the agreement does not provide for sanctions for violations of sustainability-related commitments, either. Against this backdrop, Ralph Bodle and Christiane Gerstetter, both Senior Fellows at the Ecologic Institute, analyse legal options for strengthening forest protection in the agreement. The legal analysis was compiled on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU).
Ecologic Institute has been contracted to support the European Commission in preparing a draft version of the Guidance on the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy river restoration targets, thereby bringing together existing knowledge and technical input from different contributors into a coherent document.
The aim of this project is to assess – for a selection of EU Member States – the impacts of policies and measures (PaMs) as described in their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). To this end, the project team identifies specific policy instruments and related ex-ante and ex-post evaluations, to collect and compare impact estimates and analyze the implications for achieving the energy and climate goals. The assessment also provides insights into the methodological uncertainties of evaluations in different policy areas. The considered policy areas are energy efficiency, renewable energy, cross-cutting instruments and agriculture and the NECPs from the following Member States are included; Germany, Denmark, France, Slovenia and Sweden.
The H2020 EU-funded PONDERFUL project will investigate how ponds can be used as nature-based solutions (NBS) for climate change. It will evaluate the interaction and feedback between biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate in pondscapes.
Thuringia is one of the first German states to draft its own resource conservation strategy. This requires a solid data basis on the resource flows of the state. In the ThüRess project, Ecologic Institute and the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS) are developing this database as well as measures for such a resource conservation strategy.
The aim of this project is to develop and test a methodology to assess the management effectiveness of marine Natura 2000 sites and other EU MPAs, in the context of obligations under the Birds and Habitats Directives and commitments under the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030. This methodology will build on experiences and methods used in the Natura 2000 network and other MPAs, as well as on any other available efforts in developing new systems that can be applied to the European context.
Ecologic Institute, together with partners, will develop recommendations on how environmental offences can be better prevented in Germany through deterrent sanctions.
The project first investigates at a theoretical level under which conditions a certain sanction, such as a prison sentence, has a deterrent effect against environmental law violations. These theoretical considerations are substantiated by means of case studies on illegal waste disposal and disposal of waste by ships on the sea. On this basis, the research team will develop recommendations for policies as well as practical measures to improve enforcement.
This project supports the EU Commission's DG CLIMA to develop and evaluate different options for certifying carbon removal solutions. Carbon removals, also known as negative emissions, include nature-based technologies such as afforestation and soil carbon, and technology-based approaches, including carbon capture and storage from direct air or bioenergy. To reach the EU's 2050 goal of climate neutrality, alongside mitigation of GHG emissions, the EU must remove substantial amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. This project assesses existing knowledge and identifies policy options to increase carbon removals across Europe.
This project supports EU Member States in fulfilling a part of their legal requirements under the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive (2016/2284/EU), by providing them with targeted capacity building as well as updating and developing the toolbox of ecosystem reporting tools. The latter includes proposing core parameters and harmonized protocols; drafting guidance on site selection; and updating the reporting template and corresponding technical guidance.
Land and soils are essential for life on Earth. Yet one third of the global land is considered as degraded and this process is continuing due to higher food production, urbanization and industrial activity. In a new Horizon 2020 project, Ecologic Institute develops a roadmap for research and innovation on soil systems and land management – jointly with stakeholders. The Soil Mission Support project will thus improve coordination in this field and support the EU Mission on Soil Health and Food, the European Green Deal, and contribute to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Estuaries are under considerable human pressure from river basin inputs and direct sources of pollution from ports and industrial sites. In addition, there are countless human activities, including cargo shipping, tourism, trade and fishing. Climate change also results in longer periods of heat and oxygen deficiency, which have a negative impact on the ecosystem. In this diverse range of pressures, clear, science-led and sustainable management is a challenge.