Green Economy

Our Work

We cover a range of issues that bring economic analysis into policy making at the national, EU and global level. Our work focuses on different tools to support the transition to a green, resource efficient and circular economy including market-based instruments, cost and benefit assessments, sustainability indicators and environmental accounts. We also explore the role of nature in the transition to a green economy and are at the forefront of analysis of the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Our research aims to support the integration of environmentally-sound economic signals in decision making, to encourage recognition of the true value of environmental resources and ecosystems.

The ‘green economy’ is one that pursues human progress without exceeding ecological thresholds, that ensures sustainability and simultaneously aims to reduce social disparities. Our work in this area has focused particularly on the policies and tools that are needed to support the transition to a green, resource efficient and circular economy, within the EU and internationally. There is a wide and expanding range of options.

We have examined marked based instruments to support the transition, including the use of environmental taxes and environmental tax reform (ETR), assessed the potential for reforming environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS) and explored the setting of incentives that reward environmentally progressive behaviour. Our work also aims to contribute to an improved understanding of the benefits and costs of environmental policy to provide an informed and balanced view to policy makers.

The analysis and assessment of the multiple benefits of nature to people, society and the economy is another focus of the team. Our work on assessing nature's multiple values seeks to support the integration of such values in decision-making and mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services in relevant policy areas (e.g. agriculture, cohesion, water). The Programme has made a substantial contribution to the important international initiative The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB).

Another area of our work is the development and uptake of indicators of sustainability which take account of environmental and social factors contributing to human well-being, going beyond measures of economic performance such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This runs in parallel with work on environmental-economic and natural capital accounts, exploring the use of such tools in policy. For example we have been supporting the European ‘Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services’ (MAES) process.

 

Latest in Green Economy

  • New IEEP Programme on the Green Economy

    IEEP strengthens its focus on the Green Economy with a new dedicated programme, coming on stream as from May 1st.

  • Beyond GDP Newsletter – March 2015 edition out now

    The latest edition of the Beyond GDP newsletter looks closely at the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) 2014 and discusses the challenges of developing sustainability indices.How might a ...

  • Nature and the green economy – IEEP contributing to China’s eco-civilisation drive

    IEEP’s Patrick ten Brink presented on Nature and its Role in the Transition to a Green Economy at the TEEB Multi-stakeholder International Workshop held on 21-22 January in Beijing, China. The talk contributed to current discussions in China on how decision-makers can better consider the multiple values of nature and ecosystems, with a focus on protected areas.

  • Finland launches its ecosystem service assessment

    Finland joins the ranks of countries that have carried out a dedicated assessment of their ecosystem services. Like similar studies elsewhere, the assessment concludes that ecosystem services underpin the country’s social and economic well-being and should therefore form the basis of the transition to a green economy in Finland.

  • The value and social significance of ecosystem services in Finland (TEEB for Finland)

    TEEB for Finland presents the results of a national assessment of the socio-economic importance of ecosystem services in Finland. It provides a review of the country’s most relevant ecosystem services while also considering opportunities and tools for their sustainable management.

  • New edition of IEEP-led Commission newsletter on ‘Beyond GDP’ out now

    The third edition of the Beyond GDP newsletter provides the latest developments in the area of environmental-economic and ecosystem capital accounting, including an interview with Eurostat’s Head of environmental accounts.

  • Sectoral resource mobilisation to implement global biodiversity targets

    There is an urgent need to find sufficient resources to enable developing countries to implement the global targets for biodiversity by 2020. Financing the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity from different sectoral funding flows can complement global biodiversity financing.

  • Ecosystem services of boreal mires and peatlands in Finland

    Mire ecosystems are well-known for their unique species and habitats of high conservation value and they also provide a range of benefits to our societies and economies. This publication outlines the results of a pioneering project that aimed to identify and valuate ecosystem services provided by pristine mires and managed peatlands in Finland.

  • New book coming soon: Social and Economic Benefits of Protected Areas

    A new book by IEEP researchers will be published on 15 August offering a comprehensive introduction to the socio-economic benefits of protected areas and providing step-by-step guidance on identifying, assessing and valuing the various benefits they provide.

  • Guidance manual for TEEB country studies - Version 1.0

    Co-authored by IEEP staff, the Manual is for anyone who is considering or currently undertaking a TEEB country study. Its purpose is to provide guidance throughout the entire TCS cycle, from initiation to policy analysis and ecosystem service valuations, communicating findings, and using results to support decision making.

  • Natural capital in a Nordic context

    A report for the Nordic Council of Ministers reviewing five different approaches to natural capital accounting and exploring their links with biodiversity and ecosystems.

  • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands

    This new IEEP-led report presents insights on the importance of wetlands in delivering ecosystem services that are needed to support human life, and also for people’s livelihoods and the world’s economies. The report shows that demonstrating and using the values of ecosystem services related to water and wetlands can lead to better informed, more cost-effective, and fairer decision- making.

  • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands

    This new IEEP-led report presents insights on the importance of wetlands in delivering ecosystem services that are needed to support human life, and also for people’s livelihoods and the world’s economies. The report shows that demonstrating and using the values of ecosystem services related to water and wetlands can lead to better informed, more cost-effective, and fairer decision- making.

  • Socio-economic importance of ecosystem services in the Nordic countries

    New TEEB-inspired regional assessment (published on 31 January) shows that nature and its ecosystem services are of high socio-economic significance for the Nordic countries. In order to be truly sustainable, Nordic economic systems need to build on a more comprehensive appreciation and understanding of the value of natural capital.

  • What do we mean by Green Economy?

    What is the Green Economy? What policy actions can contribute to achieving it? And how have EU-funded research projects supported these actions?

  • Green Economy in the European Union

    Elements of the green economy concept are relatively well integrated in EU strategic documents - but the focus is on achieving green/sustainable growth, rather than achieving a ‘green economy’.

  • Rio+20: Flagging the key issues however flimsy the agreement

    Key agendas for the future were given an airing in Rio, whilst the agreement itself remained timid, not least on the Green Economy. IEEP played an active role in keeping this issue in the Rio bloodstream.

  • Estimating the Overall Economic Value of the Benefits provided by the Natura 2000 Network

    Estimated benefits provided to EU citizens from the EU’s Natura 2000 Network could be in the range of €200 to €300 billion a year.

  • Guidance to identify and address incentives which are harmful to biodiversity

    Developed and tested by IEEP, this guidance document is a tool to identify incentives harmful to biodiversity to help the UK draw up a reform roadmap and thus meet a commitment under the CBD.

  • Nature and its role in the transition to a Green Economy

    Published timely before the Rio+20 Conference, this executive summary of a paper by IEEP highlights the role of nature in the transition to a green economy.

Highlights