This report documents the project work and results of the R&D project "Information Platform for the restoration of rivers", which was jointly carried out by Ecologic Institute, Planungsbüro Zumbroich and the Institute of Aquatic Ecology and Fish Biology, Jena (IGF Jena) from 2017 to 2020. The aim of the project was to create an online information platform about river restoration (Part I of the project report) and the analysis of German restoration projects in regard to their monitoring (Part II of the project report). The report is available for download.
Both Germany and Chile have decided to phase out coal – to slash greenhouse gas emissions and to modernise the power sector. In a new publication, Agora Energiewende compared the experiences of both countries to distill lessons for policymakers navigating the challenges of exiting coal in their own countries. Ecologic Institute contributed the case study on the German coal phase-out. It looked at the increasingly conflicted position of coal in the country's energy transition, the role of the coal commission and the process leading up to the coal phase-out decision. The analysis was done in support of the working group of the Chilean-German Energy Partnership.
This status report was prepared within the framework of the cross-cutting issue 1 "Analytics and reference materials" of the research focus Plastics in the Environment. It summarizes the contents of the project discussions and coordination within the cross-cutting issue. The organization of this ongoing process of development or elaboration has been supported by several events between 2018 and 2020.
The Conference on the Future of Europe is now in full swing. This political process could become a milestone in EU climate policy making – provided that its recommendations are specific and focus on the EU's ability to act, writes Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in the EU Observer. He makes three proposals how the conference could become a success for EU climate policies. The article is available online.
How can result-based payments be designed to support scaling up of agricultural practices that reduce emissions and deliver robust carbon removals? A technical guidance for setting up such payments has been published by DG Climate Action. Ecologic Institute co-wrote the guidance with its partners IEEP and COWI.
For Germany to reach its climate targets, new ways of thinking mobility are essential. For the federal state of Lower Saxony, the mobility transition is particular challenging due the important role cars play in the region. The report "Ways to Sustainable Mobility" (WenaMoNi) analyses in detail where Lower Saxony stands and proposes next steps. Ecologic Institute analysed the legal framework and identified key actors promoting electric and hydrogen-based mobility. Katharina Umpfenbach and Ricarda Faber compared the existing policy instruments to best practices in other countries and to recommendations from science. The analysis shows that a policy approach built on subsidies which has been favoured so far, must be supplemented by pricing instruments if climate targets are to be reached.
This study by Ecologic Institute analyses the potential of areas of law beyond the water law to achieve the objectives of the Water Framework Directive. Germany has so far failed to achieve the various objectives of the Water Framework Directive. According to the thesis on which the study is based, reason for this is not only the lack of financial, personnel and organisational prerequisites, but also the lack of integration of water protection concerns into other areas of law beyond water law. The study is available for download.
Germany's Polar research activities contribute to numerous initiatives and include links to climate and biodiversity protection. To prepare for future challenges and address the most pressing issues, the federal government launched a process to develop a new polar research agenda. On 19 May 2021, the steering group of the process including Ecologic Institute's Arne Riedel, handed over the concept paper on the "Changing Polar Regions" developed by over 100 experts to the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.
The number of scientific climate advisory bodies is growing rapidly across European countries, including the establishment of one at the EU-level. Under the right conditions, such expert councils can help governments not only make the right climate policy decisions but also hold them accountable by boosting transparency and tracking the success (or failures) of national actions.
In a decision published in May 2021, the German Constitutional Court held that the Federal Climate Change Act is partly unconstitutional and has to be amended by the end of 2022. This policy brief explains the court's key arguments and findings.
The Conference on the Future of Europe begins on 9 May 2021. This political process can become a milestone in EU climate policy making – provided that its recommendations are specific and focus on the EU's ability to act, writes Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in the Tagesspiegel. He makes three proposals how the conference can support EU climate policies.
This article co-authored by Sandra Naumann and McKenna Davis from the Ecologic Institute provides an overview of the state of the art of the environmental European policy framework and the recognized role of nature-based solutions (NBS) and sustainable urban planning (SUP) in reaching defined objectives and outlines insights on where NBS and SUP could play a larger role within this framework. Finally, it derives recommendations for a better integration of such concepts into the current framework. The article is available for download.
Legally binding reduction targets for Member States should be the unequivocal starting point of making EU laws fit for new EU climate targets. Based on a new distribution formula, national targets should continue until climate neutrality is achieved in 2050, writes Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf in Euractive.
The Conference on the Future of Europe begins on 9 May 2021. The conference has great importance for EU climate policies. As a contribution to the start of the conference, think tanks from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Poland make recommendations on how EU climate policy and the Conference on the Future of Europe can be mutually beneficial.
Recent Multimedia Publications by Ecologic Institute
Ecologic Institute, on behalf of the German Environment Agency, invites you to join an online panel discussion to discuss insights on Sustainable Adaptation Pathways gained within the project "Joint implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement". The high-level panel discussion will take place as a virtual event parallel to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2021 of the United Nations.
Across Europe, national climate advisory bodies exist in many shapes and forms. Most countries have one or more such institutions. While many of the existing advisory bodies bring together a range of stakeholders and cover a broad range of sustainability issues, over the past five years there has been a surge in the creation of independent scientific councils, dedicated to climate policy.
How well is the EU doing in its pursuit of climate neutrality by 2050? Are national long-term strategies and national energy and climate plans up to the task? Are the recovery efforts in line with this goal? Across EU policy, a range of processes are in the process of developing methods to assess progress towards climate neutrality – but there is no integrated set of "net zero indicators" being developed to do the job. And simple greenhouse gas emission data is not enough to judge whether the necessary transition is happening "under the hood" of Europe's economic sectors.