This draft report compiles seven legal discussion papers that were produced as part of a research project for the Federal Environment Ministry on modernising soil protection law. The discussion papers serve as a technical basis for preparing a draft bill and address the challenges identified by the BMUV in an evaluation (white paper of March 2022). The discussion papers elaborate several options and explain their pros and cons. They are intended to stimulate a broader technical discussion on soil protection law.
Our planet is experiencing a biodiversity crisis. And the problem across the EU is also severe, with more than 80% of habitats in the EU now in a bad or poor conservation status. To reverse this alarming trend, the European Commission has proposed the Nature Restoration Law, which aims to restore at least 20% of EU land and sea by 2030, and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.
The COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh was intended by the Egyptian presidency to be an implementation summit. The key outcome agreed was a financing mechanism with a fund specifically for damage and loss. Apart from that, the substantive outcomes of COP27 were mostly disappointing. This article by Dr. Ralph Bodle, Arne Riedel and Dr. Camilla Bausch provides an overview of selected outcomes, as well as insights into the process and the assessment by German civil society.
The Ecologic Institute undertook a comprehensive country study for Germany focusing on the integration of species protection rules, specifically within agricultural sectors, under the Birds and Habitats Directives. Engaging with over 20 national and regional experts, the study probed the implications of Article 12 and 13 of the Habitats Directive (HD) and Article 5 of the Birds Directive (BD), focusing on how thoroughly the regulations are transposed into national law, to reveal what efforts are being made to provide information about them to farmers and enforce them and to evaluate assessment and authorisation procedures.
Stephan Sina 2022: Stellungnahme zum Gesetzentwurf der Landesregierung für ein Hessisches Gesetz zur Förderung des Klimaschutzes und zur Anpassung an die Folgen des Klimawandels (Hessisches Klimagesetz - HKlimaG) – Drucks. 20/9276 –1. Berlin: Ecologic Institut.
Germany must reduce input of pollutants into water bodies, enable the development of near-natural water bodies, and restore and improve the continuity of water bodies to achieve the objectives of the Water Framework Directive in the future. The article highlights individual legal levers, especially in legal areas beyond water law, to tackle these tasks and to bring surface waters and groundwater to a good status, as required by the Directive, in the medium and long term.
Preparations are currently underway for negotiations on a global plastics treaty. The treaty is intended to respond to the increasing plastic pollution, especially of the oceans, which requires international cooperation along the value chain and thus binding rules at the international level. The timetable for the negotiations is extremely ambitious, with a draft to be available as early as the end of 2024. In her editorial, Heidi Stockhaus highlights the global dimension of the problem and points to the responsibility of Germany and the EU to help the negotiation process succeed.
This info film shows in seven minutes how to use the Clearingstelle EEG|KWKG's database. How to make a request, what types of procedures there are and how a procedure is carried out at the Clearingstelle EEG|KWKG. The film was produced by Ecologic Institute.
The Ecologic Institute undertook comprehensive country studies for Germany and Austria focusing on the integration of species protection rules, specifically within the forestry sector, under the Birds and Habitats Directives. The country profiles are focusing on how thoroughly the regulations are transposed into national law, to reveal what efforts are being made to provide information about them to foresters and enforce them and to evaluate assessment and authorization procedures.
This paper describes important findings from the project "Data Governance and Regulation for a Sustainable Berlin" and formulates – in addition to the application field-specific papers – overarching recommendations.
This final report assesses the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) provisions of the SUP-Directive with a view to its implementation in the Member States. The focus of this analysis lays on those aspects that represent novelties as compared to other EU legislation on EPR, and thus raise legal questions that have not been addressed before, especially regarding the cleaning up of litter from relevant SUP products.
The German Federal Constitutional Court's decision of March 2021 declared the Climate Change Act partially unconstitutional because it did not sufficiently protect fundamental rights. While the Court upheld the Act's objective of climate neutrality by 2050 and emission budgets until 2030, it held that the Climate Change Act violated fundamental rights for the time after 2030: The specific emissions budgets until 2030 entailed that strict measures would likely be required after 2030 in order to achieve climate neutrality. The Climate Change Act failed to sufficiently address in advance how this would affect individual freedoms. Dr. Ralph Bodle and Dr. Stephan Sina provide an overview of the main findings of the decision as well as the ensuing amendments to the Climate Change Act, which were passed within just a few months after the decision and are subject to new constitutional challenges.
This paper examines the concept of an "extended" digital product passport from a socio-ecological perspective using the example of batteries for electric vehicles. It evaluates different approaches to data regulation and formulates policy recommendations for decision makers in Berlin. It is based on preliminary work from the project, in which in particular three ideal types of data regulation and a methodology for their scenario-based evaluation were developed.
This introductory overview of international soil governance first outlines essential features of international governance by Dr. Ralph Bodle. At the international level, there is no overarching central or superior authority. Rules and other measures normally do not have direct effect at national level; they need to be implemented by their addressees. In contrast to other environmental topics, states have for a long time been reluctant to engage in soil governance at the international level. As a result, international soil governance is piecemeal and spread over parts of different institutions and processes, each of which has limitations. The Sustainable Development Goal “land degradation neutrality” on its own is not a comprehensive soil policy, but its forward-looking planning element in particular is a useful starting point for guiding national policies and further work. While binding rules are not an end in itself, new treaty obligations relating to soil protection could be useful to address gaps and shortcomings in current governance and focus international commitments. Climate change provides an opportunity to increase soil protection e.g. through the climate regime, but there are also risks if soil protection was pursued solely from a climate perspective.
Stephan Sina 2022: Stellungnahme zum Antrag der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN "Bekämpfung von Umweltkriminalität in NRW endlich stärken – Schwerpunktstaatsanwaltschaft und Koordinierungsstelle für NRW einrichten", Drucks. 17/14258. Berlin: Ecologic Institute.
This podcast of the European network of think tanks "Think Sustainable Europe" is discussing the main outcomes of the climate negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow. The climate conference and its outcomes were received with a range between careful optimism and disapppointment on the little progress. Following the invitation of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), one of Ecologic Institute's climate negotiation experts, Arne Riedel, joined Michael Nicholson (IEEP) and Philip Glas (IISD) for the exchange.
On 14 July 2021, the Commission proposed amendments to the Regulation 2018/842 – currently called by many the "Effort Sharing Regulation". Covering more about 60 % of the EU greenhouse gas emissions, this regulation and its reform are an essential elements of the Fit for 55 package. As a contribution to this debate, a paper by Ecologic Institute presents amendments to the Commission's proposal. Amendments are in particular intended to help ensure that all EU climate policy instruments support achieving the EU's 2050 climate neutrality target and net negative emissions afterwards.
This research report studies the Asian perspectives on a global plastic pollution treaty against the background of a growing momentum for the establishment of a negotiation process during the second part of the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) in February 2022. It identifies solutions already pursued by Asian countries to tackle marine plastic pollution, describes the challenges and needs expressed by government officials from the region, and discusses possible treaty elements taking into account experiences of countries in the Asian region.
Recent Multimedia Publications by Ecologic Institute
In a three-day series of events in Brussels from 5 to 7 December 2023, partners from the Kopernikus project Ariadne present important findings from their work that are relevant for the further development of EU climate and energy policy. They discuss these with representatives from political institutions, science, civil society and business. Participants can look forward to a varied program with workshops on current topics such as the future electricity market design, challenges of the energy transition, improvement of the EU governance mechanism, the role of household surveys in climate policy or the integration of negative emissions into the ETS.
The Mission Ocean and Waters service portal is now live and serves as a comprehensive one-stop-shop for stakeholders, offering essential tools, contacts, knowledge, matchmaking, financing, and support for the successful execution of the EU Mission "Restore our ocean and waters by 2030". The service portal ensures access to knowledge for all citizens while extending support and technical assistance to Mission Partners actively involved in the Mission Ocean and Waters implementation.
Join us on 23-24 November 2023 in the city of Envigado (Colombia), for a special conference and engagement event, through which you will be able to learn in detail from Envigado's experience, as well as from the examples of other cities from the Cities Talk Nature community of practice, and the expertise of the INTERLACE project partners.