Roofs still offer enormous potential for solar electricity generation. In order to achieve the ambitious expansion targets of the German government, this potential must be raised. In a new project, Ecologic Institute and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) analyze different system concepts and evaluate their economic viability. Existing barriers to the expansion of photovoltaic systems on buildings are identified and the extent to which the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2023 will remove these barriers is examined. As a result of the project, recommendations for further improvements of the regulatory framework will be elaborated.
In addition to the protection of still intact peatlands, the restoration and sustainable management of previously drained peatland soils are important contributions for protecting biodiversity and the mitigation of climate change. In order to address these needs in a more targeted manner, the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) published the first National Peatland Protection Strategy in September 2021. Together with DUENE e.V., Ecologic Institute supports the implementation of the National Peatland Protection Strategy.
The Covid-19 pandemic and, most recently, the war that has erupted in Ukraine have shown that such crises can have a major impact on European emissions trading. This raises the central question: Can and must the European emissions trading system become more crisis-proof? In the present project, concrete crisis scenarios are developed that could put a strain on the European emissions trading system (EU ETS). This is followed by an analysis of the possibilities that the existing laws and regulations offer for reacting to such crises. The further aim of the project is to show ways to improve the handling of crises within the trading system.
In KliMaWerk, integrated measures and strategies are developed to increase hydrological and ecological resilience for watercourses affected by climate change. Special consideration is given to low-flow and drying situations, alternating with heavy rainfall events. The ecological functions of the water bodies as well as competing water body uses are taken into account through the integrated consideration of an entire water body catchment area. What is new here is the holistic view of the landscape water balance, instead of a narrow focus on individual spatial elements or individual user groups.
In this project, Ecologic Institute undertook an inventory of climate policies, emissions pathways and complementary measures in the G7 countries. This is intended to help identify gaps in the existing policy landscape of global decarbonisation efforts. Based on the findings, possible improvements were proposed. The project report is available for download.
Agri-food systems in Central Eastern Europe are key to achieving the EU climate goals. To deliver these goals, strategic planning and integrated policies are needed that will enable reduced emissions, increased carbon removals, and at the same time support biodiversity and adaptation. Ambitious climate targets for the agri-food sector are needed, as well as alignment of the national strategic plans under the Common Agricultural Policy with climate targets and the European Green Deal objectives.
Germany took over the G7 Presidency from the United Kingdom at the start of 2022. Climate continues to stand on top of the G7's agenda as global emissions continue to grow. In this project Ecologic Institute, in partnership with WWF and E3G, brings together a select group of think-tanks and NGOs to discuss priorities for the German G7 presidency. Based on policy briefs by E3G and Ecologic Institute, experts in the German climate policy field discuss key issues around climate at the G7 to identify and concretise priorities and action items for the G7. Key topics include decarbonising industry, climate partnerships and their financing, climate clubs, and loss and damage.
Over the past years, concerns and wide recognition about drought events and water scarcity have grown across the EU. The objectives of the assessment in this project are: to better understand national policies, strategies and plans on droughts in EU Member States, to gather detailed knowledge on existing drought management plans, including the use of exemptions under Art. 4(6) of the WFD, and to identify main challenges and lessons learnt in applying drought management, as well as the main issues to be addressed in order to improve the integration of drought management into river basin management planning. Ecologic Institute is part of the team that assesses national policies, strategies and plans on droughts in EU Member States based on document review and interviews with competent authorities and relevant stakeholders.
Ecologic Institute was commissioned by WISE Netherlands to take a more in-depth look at how Member States are spending their auctioning revenues, and if and how they are using them for climate action. Furthermore, we wanted to understand the political context and the narrative around auctioning revenues. For this purpose, we conducted eight country case studies, namely Czech, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal. We based our analysis on Member States' reporting to the European Commission regarding the use of auctioning revenues, desk research on legal documents and interviews with relevant experts from ministries and NGOs.
The EU has specified climate neutrality as a legally binding 2050 target. This transformation requires bold policy tools that can deliver concrete results – sector-by-sector. To inspire policymakers across the EU to get active, Agora Energiewende is compiling best practice examples of policies that are successful in initiating progress towards climate neutrality. Ecologic Institute contributes to this project by researching and drafting fiches for ten best practice cases. Moreover, the team is supporting Agora Energiewende in selecting suitable cases. Ecologic Institute draws on its in-house expertise in a wide range of sectors.
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.
The briefing provides a didactic overview on carbon farming. Specifically, it summarizes the current scientific understanding of the mitigation potentials, co-benefits and trade-offs of carbon farming, as well as the key agronomic practices and key knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to scale up carbon farming and to deliver robust climate mitigation and EU Green Deal objectives.
Climate lawsuits have become a frequently chosen tool in the fight for more ambitious climate policies in recent years. In the extensive reporting on this topic, one aspect has so far been neglected: the differences between the jurisprudence in the Global South and the Global North. To address the related issues, Verfassungsblog, Völkerrechtsblog and the journal World Comparative Law (WCL) in cooperation with the Ecologic Institute are organizing an online symposium on the subject of "Comparative Climate Litigation in North-South Perspective".
To strengthen climate protection in Germany, the amendment of the Climate Protection Act in 2021 further tightened the greenhouse gas emission targets for 2030 and set the goal of climate neutrality for the year 2045. An important step in the energy sector is the phase-out of lignite mining and coal-based electricity generation. The decision to phase out lignite mining in Germany by 2038 at the latest does not only affect energy and climate policy. In the coming years, the lignite mining areas will face a fundamental structural change, which is to be flanked with extensive funding and steered in the sense of sustainable spatial development.