The EU-funded project "Species protection rules under the Birds and Habitats Directives: how effectively are they integrated into sectoral policies" supports the European Commission (DG Environment) in identifying existing gaps and uptake of the species protection system provided by the EU Nature Directives in the Member States, specifically in the agricultural and forestry sectors. The project is led by Milieu and is supported by Ecologic Institute, IEEP and Stritih.
The EU has agreed to become climate neutral by 2050. Achieving climate neutrality in the next 30 years is a great societal, economic and political undertaking, presenting many challenges and opportunities. The Climate Recon 2050 project addresses the central process of the development and implementation of national long-term climate strategies in EU Member States. The project combines analysis with dialogue to inform political debate.
Between October 2020 and June 2023, the project "Socio-Ecological Transformation of the Food System" (STErn) is developing a political roadmap for the transformation towards a sustainable food system. The roadmap will identify short-, medium-, and long-term policy options for action in the areas of regionalization, the dietary shift toward plant-based diets, and the future of organic agriculture and food. It also discusses the role of the financial sector in transforming the food system.
The project provides an overview of the current water availability in Germany, as well as its future development under climate change conditions. It predicts emerging conflicts of use and develops possible solution strategies. For example, a concept for regional water advisory councils will be developed. These are intended to avoid water conflicts by enabling representatives of water-relevant sectors to exchange information. In addition, options for reusing water for irrigation in urban areas are being examined.
Modernizing the EU's building stock is essential to meet the twin goals of the reduction of GHG emissions and green recovery. This short project therefore focuses on the two goals and argues for spending a specific share of the national Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds on building renovation. The recommendation is to allocate RRF funds according to the building sector's share of total GHG emissions, in line with the EU's green recovery commitments and the requirement to spend 37 % of the Recovery and Resilience Facility grants and loans on climate-related investments. For full results check out the related think piece.
Cities and their peripheries are constantly confronted with challenges such as urban sprawl, climate change and pollution. These processes can exacerbate the degradation of natural ecosystems, and jeopardize ecosystem service provisioning with negative consequences for human health and well-being, biodiversity, social cohesion and equity, and, finally, city resilience. The INTERLACE project brings together a unique consortium of European and Latin American partners to contribute to effectively restoring and rehabilitating urban ecosystems to make cities more livable, resilient and inclusive. The project aims to advance knowledge and awareness of restorative nature-based solutions (NBS), such as the restoration of wetlands and rivers, as well as to foster more ecologically coherent and integrated city planning processes. In addition, it lays the foundation for sustained multi-directional cooperation and exchange between European and Latin American cities for wider transformative impact.
Energy prosumption through the deployment of residential renewable energy technologies reduces GHG emissions, speeds up the energy transition and provides important community benefits. In this project "Energy Prosumption in Europe", Ecologic Institute, CE Delft and Fraunhofer ISI help the European Energy Agency to better explain how energy prosumerism works in the agency’s 32 member countries – with the aim of inspiring citizens and decision-makers at all governance levels to expand prosumerism.
Currently, farming systems in Europe rely strongly on the use of Plant Protection Products (PPPs). Yet, the use of PPPs pose risks to both human and environmental health with pesticide exposure being associated with health problems, including reproductive issues and cancer as well as environmental degradation. In the SPRINT project, research institutes from 11 European countries and Argentina as well as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) work together, alongside with farmers and policy makers, to accelerate the transition to sustainable plant protection.
Textiles, including clothing, are a priority product category for the circular economy and one of the focus sectors of the new Circular Economy Action Plan. The textiles sector is a relevant economic sector in the EU, both in terms of job and value creation as well as regarding environmental and social footprint. Environmental pressures from the sector through the use of resources, water, land and chemicals are significant. The impacts occur in every phase of the life cycle: from production of fibres and products to distribution, the use of clothing, collection, sorting and recycling, and the final management of waste.
As part of this project for the European Environment Agency, Ecologic Institute is providing an overview of the chemical and quantitative status of groundwater across Europe, and its significance for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
In this project, Climact and Ecologic Institute analysed the impact assessment for the new EU climate target proposed by the Commission in September 2020. After examining policy options and modelling results, they were compared with recent studies, in particular with Climact's modelling results for 2030. A policy brief highlights key points where the Commission differs from other studies and identifies climate change potentials that deserve more attention in future analyses.
This research project explores whether strengthening the concept of extended product responsibility in international law has the potential of noticeably improving waste management in the Global South. The concept of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) aims at taking into account waste management issues during the entire life cycle of a product (cradle-to-grave approach). Its main purpose is to reduce the costs of waste management for local authorities and taxpayers, while at the same time providing incentives for producers to design their products so that they are easier to recycle and dispose of in an environmentally sound manner, generating less waste overall.
Global extraction of primary raw materials has been growing continuously for decades, and absolute decoupling between economic growth and resource consumption, let alone environmental impacts associated with the use of natural resources, has not yet been achieved. Although political attention for the issues of resource efficiency, resource conservation and the circular economy has been high for some years at on the international, European and national level, scientific studies call for more ambitious policy approaches in order to achieve global sustainability goals and respecting planetary boundaries in the long term. It therefore appears necessary to further develop resource policies at international and national level.
In order to reduce air pollution, especially in large cities, Vietnam is discussing the introduction of air quality planning and an integrated permit system as part of the revision of its Law on Environmental Protection. Together with the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues, Ecologic Institute supports the legislative process and develops guidelines for the subsequent implementation of the two instruments.
The aim of the project is to evaluate the agricultural extension services in Schleswig-Holstein with regard to their impact on the protected goods water, climate, soil and biodiversity. In addition, new advisory measures, incentive and control instruments are to be developed on the basis of the analysis and evaluation results.