Ursula von der Leyen (President of the European Commission) described the European Green Deal as "Europe's man-on-the-moon moment". With this plan, the European Union aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, protect and enhance nature, and sustainably transform the European economy and society. But what exactly is the European Green Deal? Which role does it play in our everyday life? And what challenges does it pose? In our podcast and webinar series "Green deal – Big Deal?" we take a critical look at these questions and discuss various aspects of the European Green Deal with experts from policy, business and science.
The project "Information and teaching materials for an environmentally conscious use of pharmaceuticals", led by Ecologic Institute, aims to promote an environmentally responsible use of human pharmaceuticals and to anchor the topic of pharmaceuticals and the environment in pharmaceutical and medical teaching. The overriding goal is to reduce the entry of pharmaceuticals into the environment and their effects on animals and plants. To this end, freely available teaching materials are developed for university teaching, for professional trainings and for vocational schools. In addition, customer information materials on the proper disposal of end-of-life medicines are created and disseminated. Finally, all information and materials will be made available on an online information platform at www.umweltbundesamt.de.
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.
A torn plastic bag on the riverbank or a yoghurt cup floating in the water are symptoms of serious interference with the highly complex system of seas, the ocean and flowing waterways. The Plastic Pirates – Go Europe! project focuses on this plastic waste problem and our future handling of it. It aims to familiarise young people with the general topic of the ocean and water cycles in the process. They will learn what it means to work scientifically – and try their hand at it.
The European Ocean Coalition (EU4Ocean) connects diverse organisations, projects and people that contribute to ocean literacy and the sustainable management of the ocean. Supported by the European Commission, this bottom-up inclusive initiative aims at uniting the voices of Europeans to make the ocean a concern of everyone!
With the aim of achieving "good ecological status" in all water bodies by 2015, the Water Framework Directive requires Member States to put more emphasis on hydromorphological issues and watercourse connectivity for the conservation and restoration of fish populations. The aim for the third cycle of the "Forum Fish Protection and Downstream Migration" is to continue the series of workshops on fish protection and downstream migration and to evaluate them in papers, reports and publications. In addition, the website forum-fischschutz.de will be updated and improved. In this project, the fourth UBA Hydromorphology Workshop will also be organised.
Since 2017, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has been operating the Internet platform of the Round Table on Marine Litter at www.muell-im-meer.de. The main objective of the platform is to provide organisational support for the German Roundtable on Marine Litter and its working groups, in particular by providing a password-protected member area. In addition, the public part of the platform serves public relations work and the bundling of information on marine litter. In this project the Ecologic Institute is responsible for the further development, relaunch, operation, technical maintenance and hosting of the internet platform. Ecologic Institute is creating and implementing a development guide on structural and functional changes for the internet platform.
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.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) provide an integrated approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas, while simultaneously offering a range of additional benefits. This project aims to increase the awareness of NBS in Poland as a cost-effective urban climate mitigation measure and build capacity, knowledge and skills among city officials, municipal staff, and landscape planners to enable the conceptual and technical design and implementation of NBS.
Lignite and hard coal is still Germany's most important energy source for power generation. Yet, Germany's climate policy goals can only be achieved if coal-firing decreases and is phased out completely in the long-term. To date, the "when and how" of this coal exit remains unclear. As a basis for the decision-making processes in the next legislative period, Ecologic Institute is working together with the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) and the Wuppertal Institute (WI) to develop a reader that clearly summarises the scientific facts and controversies surrounding the coal exit.
In the framework of the scientific accompanying research (PlastikNet) of the research focus "Plastics in the Environment – Sources • Sinks • Solutions" (Plastik in der Umwelt – Quellen • Senken • Lösungsansätze) Ecologic Institute coordinates 20 joint research projects, which deal with plastics in the environment funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF).
In the context of this project an information platform was developed to share information about the restoration of rivers including examples of selected restoration projects. The aim of the information platform is to increase attention and acceptance for restoration measures and communicate their need and benefits. The information platform is also intended to assist the German Federal States in their communication with bodies and organizations involved in river restoration. The potential stakeholders involved in hydromorphological improvements and the restoration of rivers include municipalities and watercourse associations.
The Project "A Taste of the Future of the Seas" brings scientific insights about sustainable use and protection of oceans to the public with an interactive series of events held at the Museum for Natural History in Berlin. Three dialogue-oriented and action-packed formats offered the opportunity to learn about advances and challenges in sustainable marine science – and motivated participants through fun, sensory experiences to act and consume consciously.