IEEP welcomes the urgency of the Commission’s SDG reflection paper “Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030” and strongly supports the development of an overarching EU SDG strategy. To support further policy action, here is our ‘a-day-after’ analysis of the paper.
Anthropogenic climate change is a product of our patterns of behaviour and the choices we make; whether as consumers or, in the case of farmers, as land managers and producers. This session convened by IEEP at COP24 of the UNFCCC identified the common threads that could help in changing our behaviour and in the transformation of the agricultural sector. Read more and download presentations here.
The EU risks missing out on the opportunity to take a leadership role in the implementation of SDGs domestically and globally. This paper maps the action needed to step up the delivery of the 2030 Sustainability Agenda by the EU at the global level. The paper is part of the Think2030 initiative launched by IEEP and partners in 2018.
Half a degree may not sound that much but it can be a matter of life or death in the context of climate change. This is one of the headline messages of the recent IPCC special report, “Global warming of 1.5 °C”, which is based on the assessment of the latest scientific literature. The report confirms the urgency to act in order to avoid often irreversible consequences for human well-being, ecosystems and sustainable development. But what does this mean for agriculture in general and for the EU farming sector in particular? What kind of challenges would the sector face in a 1.5 °C or 2 °C world? And how can the farming sector contribute to keeping global temperature increase below 1.5°C?
In environmental terms there are at least two ways of looking at the prospects for 2018. Viewed through the rather sober lens of EU process, it has the look of a project completion and tidying up period with limited long term impetus to the last full year of the current European Parliament and Commission.
European countries have developed a wide range of policies to encourage climate mitigation through land use “sinks”; but as the land use sector is brought fully into the EU’s climate targets, policies will need to be more ambitious, and more focused on results.
The European Parliament’s first reading opinion on the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive, moves some steps forward in the debate on sustainable use of biomass for energy in Europe. However, the devil is in the (considerable) detail set out in the adopted text.
There is mounting interest in biomass to provide heat, power and, transport fuels but also as a basis for alternative products for replacing plastics, and other fossil fuel derived commodities. How can the bioeconomy and the bioenergy sector evolve to deliver sustainable, coordinated and efficient use of resources?
Circular economy policies are proliferating and increasingly linked with other policy areas, including climate change. As seen at COP23, the circular economy can be better exploited to decarbonise the economy.
A new IEEP study has developed policy options to enhance the ambition of extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes for plastic packaging. The study explores the potential of more advanced eco-modulation of fees for plastic packaging, to better take into account its environmental impacts.
The Commission’s renewed strategy on EU outermost regions puts forward a new approach to foster development and appears rather ‘green’, acknowledging the ORs’ rich biodiversity as a unique natural asset.
Ensuring the carbon sustainability of bioenergy requires a new approach in EU policy. This IEEP report spells out a different pathway to the one proposed by the European Commission in the recently released “winter package”.
On 30th November, the European Commission published a “Winter package” of policy proposals, including for bioenergy in the form of a revised Renewable Energy Directive. Although encouraging to answer the many requests for policy certainty, a number of key questions about the right and most appropriate approach to deliver sustainable bioenergy still remain and need further scrutiny.
Understanding the consequences of increased biomass demand for energy on the environment is central to the development of future policy on renewable energy in Europe. This study seeks to help answer this need by modelling different levels of biomass demand for energy and the consequences for land use and forest based industries.
Improving the resource efficient use of wood through cascading the resource from one use to another, requires action throughout the wood flow. Current efforts focus on recovering and re-using waste wood but more could be done with the production and utilisation of wood processing residues and improving the balancing between the material and energy use of wood.