Regional governments are key players in driving the transformation towards climate neutrality, as they are the ones who enable and implement solutions on the ground. For the European Parliament's Committee on Regional Development, Ecologic Institute together with partners identifies EU regions that are successfully transforming their economies towards climate neutrality. Based on six case studies, the project distills key drivers, conditions and mechanisms for a successful transformation of regional economies – leading to concrete policy recommendations for the EU level on how to support in this effort.
Many strong economies have developed strategies to foster the circular economy. But what do we know about how these plans impact developing and emerging countries? Do the strategies itself take the effects on developing and emerging countries into account? Which risks and opportunities arise from a shift to a circular economy in industrialised countries to developing and emerging countries? This project analysed some of these effects. The project's key recommendations and highlights are published in the project report.
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.
The project "Capacity Building Emissions Trading to Support Bilateral Cooperation" aims to disseminate knowledge on emissions trading internationally and to support partner countries in setting up national emissions trading systems. The consortium supports the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety's bilateral activities in the field of capacity development and training on emissions trading. Former and current cooperation partners include Brazil, China, Chile, Kazakhstan, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey and Ukraine.
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.
Around the world, an increasing number of countries have decided to phase out coal, both to achieve their climate targets, but also to modernise their electricity sector in the transition from fossil to renewable energy supply. This includes Germany, which long had one of the highest shares of coal use in Europe – and Chile, as one the first Latin American country to move beyond coal. To support the dialogue in the Chilean-German Energy Partnership, Ecologic Institute, Agora Energiewende and Chilean experts were commissioned to draft a paper comparing the coal phase-out processes in both countries.
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.
How to link the goals of the Agenda 2030, the Paris Convention, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction and climate adaptation policies? The project examines synergies and challenges in the joint implementation of these processes. To this end, several papers, among others on "sustainable adaptation pathways", are prepared. These present factors for successful implementation, examples of good practice and short country studies. The results are discussed with the expert audience at a seminar and a side event of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations in New York.
Vietnam is currently revising its Law on Environmental Protection and therefore also revisiting the chapter on climate change. Ecologic Institute supports the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in adapting the provisions to the requirements of the Paris Agreement. In addition, recommendations are being developed based on experiences in other countries with climate change framework laws.
Air pollution is becoming a pressing issue, especially in Vietnam's bigger cities. The Ecologic Institute supports the Vietnamese government in its current revision of the Law on Environmental Protection by researching international experience and providing tailored solutions for the Vietnamese context.
Sustainable development is a long-term political goal of the European Union (EU), which has become even more important since the adoption of sustainable development goals (SDGs). Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, has been monitoring progress in the field of sustainable development for years with the help of indicator sets. Since 2008, the Ecologic Institute, together with the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, INFRAS and the Haymarket Media Group, has been producing monitoring reports on the subject, which will include SDG monitoring for the years 2019 to 2022, as well as monitoring on the Europe 2020 strategy and new political priorities of the European Commission after 2020.
The aim of the project was to develop a study "Ocean as a Global Commons: International Governance and the Role of Germany" at the request of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) as part of the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 (Wissenschaftsplattform Nachhaltigkeit 2030). The study provides an overview of the different governance mechanisms in regard to the Global Commons "Oceans" area.
With three quarters of the European Union's population living in cities and further increases expected, societies are increasingly facing socio-political shifts and marginalization. Limited availability of physical space, changing urban demographics, and increasing cultural diversity compound these challenges and create issues like high crime rates, social inequality, poverty, health threats, and unemployment. Some areas are particularly vulnerable, such as economically deprived, abandoned and neglected urban areas with a low share of green spaces. The Horizon2020 funded project “CLEVER Cities” responds to these challenges by designing and implementing locally tailored nature-based solutions (NBS) to foster sustainable and socially inclusive urban regeneration.
The G7 and G20 conferences are two multilateral fora for mutual exchange between the world largest economies. For the European Union, the congresses are particularly important to push for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to enhance international environmental protection. In this project, Ecologic Institute supports the European Commission in strengthening the voice of the EU in the negotiations. The team provides expert advice for EU position development on resource efficiency, circular economy, marine waste, plastics and sustainable finance.
Ecologic Institute participates in a Framework Contract for Europeaid (2018-2020) for "Sustainable management of Natural Resources and Resilience" in the implementation of external aid. The aim of the Framework Contract is to support and advise European Commission services (Headquarters and EU Delegations) and/or Partner Countries/Organisations along the entire cycle of operations (from design to implementation and evaluation of EU interventions) by providing technical inputs and by assisting in carrying out analysis, studies and providing opinions and advice.