Now that COP27 has come to a bitter end, the world’s attention has turned to Qatar for this year’s next big climate event. With the last eight years on track to be the warmest on record, we dig into the carbon footprint of this year’s FIFA World Cup and what the lack of accountability around it means for global efforts to fight climate change.
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After experiencing the worst summer drought in 500 years and an unusually warm October, EU policymakers should be determined to make the Green Deal a success. The only way to make this happen is to tackle – once and for all – our food system, which is economically, socially and environmentally unsustainable, from the sowing of the plants we eat or feed, to the animals we farm, to our consumption patterns.
The UN Climate Change Champion for COP27, Dr Mohieldin, is right to make agriculture and food system transition the focus of the COP in Egypt this week. So far, the role of industrial agriculture systems in driving global warming has been ominously absent from international climate fora. Yet the issue of reducing industrial meat production – critical for achieving Paris goals – is the big cow in the room at COP27.
The EU has been pursuing a transition to a circular economy in earnest since the launch of the first EU Circular Economy Action Plan in 2015. In March 2020 the European Commission adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan. Although a number of circular economy initiatives have been put forward, further steps are still needed to achieve a full circular economy transition in the EU.
For the EU to maintain credibility as a climate leader at COP27, its upcoming Fertiliser Strategy must advance the sustainable farming agenda, not subsidise its fertiliser industry.
In the last 30 years, the amounts of CO2 emissions have increased at a rate faster than ever before in history. IEEP has calculated that they would need to be reduced twice as fast in order to stay well below a 2°C increase.
The time for the EU to act and minimise its share of global deforestation is now. The Deforestation-free Supply Chains Regulation is vital to begin addressing the global spillovers of the EU’s unsustainable consumption patterns, and to achieve the SDGs. This briefing analyses the potential impact of the EU Deforestation-free supply chains Regulation on smallholder farms.
Material consumption in the European Union is high and rising, creating significant environmental and social impacts along the value chain from raw material extraction to treatment of waste both inside and outside the EU. Several circular economy initiatives have been put forward or are expected to be implemented to slow and reduce this material throughput and therefore to mitigate its environmental and social consequences. However, all circular economy policies can have positive as well as negative environmental and social spillovers, which should be carefully assessed in policy design.
While the EU has emerged as a global leader with regard to policymaking for the circular economy, the policy agenda to date has not focused on absolutele reduction of resource consumption. Despite the calls of the European Parliament and of an increasing number of Member States for greater efforts to reduce material consumption, the current EU agenda is missing material consumption reduction targets.
In her plans for 2023 addressed to the EU Parliament, President of the EU Commission von der Leyen did not mention the proposal for a Sustainable Food System legislative framework (SFSF). This created speculation about the timeframe of this key proposal which has been put forward as a cornerstone of the EU Green Deal for the agri-food sector. This blogpost, co-signed by members of the Think Sustainable Europe network, underlines the importance of the SFSF to be proposed next year in order to drive a sustainable transition of the EU food system, given the urgency of such a transition.
The consumption of plastic products in the EU creates significant environmental and social impacts along the whole value chain. Whilst the EU has in place a range of policies and legislation relevant to plastics, this briefing outlines some additional recommendations to address the potential negative spillovers from the pursuit of greater plastics circularity.
The European Commission proposed a zero-emission road mobility target for 2035 to reduce emissions produced by new passenger cars by 100% compared to 2021. Electric vehicles (EVs) are set to play a key role in decarbonising EU road transport, however, the net-zero transition will have implications for the EU's material demand and waste generation.
The 2010 EU Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is one of the cornerstones of pollution control in the EU establishing a regulatory regime covering industrial activities that may cause pollution (to air, water and waste). The European Commission is proposing to amend the directive, which may cause legal divergence between the EU and UK. However, it is important to consider how industry is regulated in practice beyond the legal texts and compare this in the UK and in different EU member states.
This briefing maps out some of the principal spillovers that may be associated with the introduction of the ‘right to repair’ in the EEE sector in particular, including implications for job creation, labour standards and the role of social economy actors in the repair economy, as well as possible rebound effects both inside and outside the EU, and sets out some initial policy recommendations to address them.
The EU is moving ahead on its ambition to develop and implement a European circular economy, as ambitioned by the new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and its subsequent proposals. However, this objective is inherently intertwined with the rest of the global trading system, in addition to continuous geopolitical developments which risk complicating an already complex transition.
When Ursula von der Leyen presented one of the most ambitious political projects to date in EU history, aiming at making Europe the first climate-neutral continent, nobody could imagine that just a few months later, an unprecedented pandemic would lock down the whole EU. Yet, and despite strong pushes to derail the European Green Deal agenda as an immediate reply to the crisis, the Green Deal stayed afloat and was even slightly boosted through the national recovery and resilient plans.
An often-repeated slogan holds that the fight against climate change will be won or lost in cities. Cities drive many pioneering solutions at the local level; however, they face a number of challenges in advancing the progress on climate. The new EU mission Net Zero Cities has the potential to advance their role in the ecological transition but does not come without its challenges.
International trade is a key enabler of a global and inclusive transition to a circular economy. However, inequities in power relations, digital trade capabilities, trade infrastructure, access to finance, and industrial and innovation capabilities mean that countries in the Global North are better positioned to reap the benefits of international trade than those in the Global South.
The circular economy involves a major paradigm shift, with economies transitioning away from a take-make-waste model to a sustainable model. In order to facilitate a just transition to a global circular economy the EU must seek to cooperate with its trade partners.
The circular economy involves a major paradigm shift, with economies transitioning away from a take-make-waste model to a sustainable model. The EU is a global leader and adopted its ambitious Circular Economy Action Plan under the Green Deal in 2020.