To achieve the turnaround towards carbon neutrality, countries around the world need to take much more ambitious action in this decade. One of the key fields of action is the transition of the energy sector –from fossil to renewable fuels, while drastically reducing energy consumption. This paper discusses options how such action can be enhanced through multilateral cooperation.
What matters for the climate is the total amount of emissions and removals over time and corresponding levels of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration. The current focus on reductions achieved as of a specific moment in time disguises this. Emission budgets that quantify the total amount of permissible emissions would address this problem. The EU should establish an emission budget within its Climate Law. This emission budget should include all GHG emissions, not only CO2. These are some of the key findings of this briefing paper.
On 17 September 2020, the European Commission proposed to raise the EU climate target for 2030, so as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990. In this policy brief, CLIMACT and Ecologic Institute unpack the Commission's impact assessment for the new target. The brief analyses key policy options and analytical results and compares them to recent studies, in particular CLIMACT's 2030 modelling results. Within the framework of the tightened target, the EU Commission proposes to extend the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to buildings and road transport – a major change to the EU's current climate policy architecture. The team discusses potential implications and provides context to the sectoral developments and policies. The briefing highlights key points where the Commission diverges from other studies, identifying climate mitigation potentials that merit more attention in future analysis.
For energy-intensive industries, the transformation towards a climate-neutral form of production is a particular challenge, not only because of their large carbon footprints, but also because they are embedded in value chains that are still predominantly fossil-based. However, they too are part of the effort to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and at the same time accelerate the transition by providing competitive clean technology solutions. This study explores how European energy-instensive industries can transition to a climate-neutral economy while maintaining, and ideally improving, its global competitiveness. It investigates different technology options, policy designs and financial instruments.
Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf comments on the EU corona aid package in Tagesspiegel Background. He calls for the EU Parliament to have a greater say in the matter and criticises that the aid programme is not sufficiently linked to the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
The Corona crisis offers three important lessons for climate policies and Europe's economic recovery. First, systemic shocks – like the Corona pandemic or climate change – affect the foundations of modern societies. Second, resiliency, preparedness and time are existential factors in addressing systemic crises. Third, the world’s economic recovery must help build efficient, innovative and climate neutral economies. In turn, calls to delay climate policies draw the wrong lessons from the current crisis and undermine Europe's economic recovery. All countries, including the EU, must accelerate their emission reductions drastically.
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and National Climate Protection Initiative (ed.), 2020: Unternehmensbeiträge zum Klimaschutz. Ergebnisse der Arbeitsgruppen des Dialogforums "Wirtschaft macht Klimaschutz".
The seventh episode of the environmental podcast "Knowledge for Future" is about transdisciplinary research. The focus is primarily on cooperation between research and private sector companies. What does this cooperation look like in practice? What advantages can be gained and what challenges need to be overcome?
With the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the world of climate policy has changed, with important implications for the debate on carbon leakage. This report looks at how the risk of carbon leakage changes for different constellations of climate policy targets, how the incentives for countries have changed, and what carbon leakage entails for global emissions under these constellations.
The enormously innovative German industry is in a position to develop many of the technical solutions required to achieve climate neutrality and bring them onto the market. However, this is not a fast-selling item, but also requires a long-term commitment from the public sector. In this article, Jan-Erik Thie and Benjamin Görlach of Ecologic Institute discuss how German industry can become climate neutral and why the public sector plays an important role. The article is available online.
With the recent update of its Bioeconomy Strategy, the guidance of its advisory bodies and the engagement of regional groups and representatives, Europe has found a new track towards a sustainable bioeconomy, building on the notion that regions are the most appropriate territorial level at which to implement bioeconomy strategies. The BE-Rural project incorporates this regional focus into its core vision, putting its regional Open Innovation Platforms (OIPs) front and center in the process of studying the potential for regional bioeconomies, and articulating and implementing strategies to make them a reality.
Recent Multimedia Publications by Ecologic Institute
On 26 March 2021 the Climate Recon 2050 Platform hosted an online debate with the European Commission and national government experts, discussing the impact of the climate neutrality target on EU climate policy and national planning processes.
Plastics are all around us and make up an essential part of our daily lives. How much do we know about this material, its variety, the associated environmental problems and possible solutions? The quiz "Plastics in the environment - What do you know?" invites you to test your knowledge around the topic of plastics in five categories. Furthermore, the category "Questions for adults & children" contains questions suited for children.
Ecologic Institute has recently launched the Diagnostic Water Governance Tool, which is aimed at both water governance practitioners and researchers around the world. The tool provides a diagnosis of case-specific water governance as well as recommendations for appropriate instruments, with a focus on coordination and cooperation improvement.