EU policy is central to progress in combating climate change both in Europe and globally. IEEP's climate programme engages in key contemporary issues, notably international negotiations, the role of bioenergy, strategies for transport, funding and the EU Budget, energy conservation and the challenge of adaptation.
Climate change is a complex problem that requires a coordinated policy response. As such, climate change crops up in all work areas at IEEP, from dealing with issues of environmental governance in relation to international negotiations, or in terms of understanding the links to land use. Together we are able to bring a range of disciplinary perspectives to the challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
To reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases causing global temperature increase, well-targeted mitigation measures are essential. IEEP has experience in evaluating the effectiveness of such measures, in particular by examining their national implementation in Member States.
The transport and energy sectors are the biggest contributors of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the EU so naturally a lot of our work centres on policies regulating these areas. Regarding transport, we were influential in the development of the recent legislation on limiting the CO2 emissions from cars and we are currently very much involved in the definition of sustainability criteria for biofuels. We have also worked on environmental labelling and consumer information on new cars; the links between climate change, transport and obesity; and the need to reform the existing perverse economic incentives that encourage car use.
The energy sector is key to reducing both CO2 emissions and resource use: bringing down energy consumption through demand management and improved efficiency, well-planned renewable energy technologies, sustainably implemented bioenergy and other emerging mitigation technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
In addition to efforts on mitigation, society must learn to cope with the impacts to which we have already committed ourselves as a result of past emissions. IEEP follows the evolution of policy for adaptation to climate change. Our current work in this area is concerned with improving Europe’s capacity to account for the cost of adaptation and related public spending, filling an important gap in the knowledge base for adaptation policy.
Addressing climate change costs money. IEEP is working to understand how climate change priorities can be reflected in EU spending, in particular how the concept of ‘climate proofing’ can be operationalised in the EU budget.
Climate policy and land use is an area where our work is rapidly expanding. IEEP’s capacity to think across sectoral and environmental policy domains enables us to consider conflicting policy objectives, such as those on bioenergy, soil carbon sequestration, urban planning and the EU’s impacts beyond its borders.
IEEP also has educational charity status. We have experience of training and capacity building on a wide range of topics. Notably, we have been very active in supporting the European Parliament in its role in EU climate policy.
Europe is debating its future development and structures. A new report argues that they have to work for the energy and climate transition.
While the stand-off on agriculture is continuing between developed and developing countries within climate negotiations, there is a growing consensus among experts that agriculture --and more generally the land use sector--needs to rise at the top of UNFCCC agenda.
Europe needs to ratchet up its climate goals to deliver climate mitigation targets. At the UNFCCC's COP 23, IEEP will lead two side events looking at the role of land use and the agricultural sector in delivering this ambition. What will net zero emissions for agriculture look like, what policies are important in delivering Europe’s land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) goals? What is the role of agricultural policy?
In November, IEEP will lead three workshops in French Polynesia, Vanuatu and Fiji, looking at how to green taxes and subsidies in various economic sectors.
How climate objectives are mainstreamed into the current EU budget and what should be done in the future?
IEEP and partners produce a suite of 40 case studies on economic instruments from around the EU that address pollution and resource use.
IEEP and Energy Cities are creating a partnership to explore how to bridge the gap between science and citizens on climate change through culture
European climate change engagement must incorporate values-based approaches.
There is an emerging realisation that soil, and linked land use and management challenges, are fundamental to achieve sustainable development including in the areas of fighting against hunger, protecting life on land, moving to more responsible consumption and production, ensuring clean water and sanitation and addressing climate change. Addressing soil protection issues is fundamentally interconnected with our ability to deliver multiple societal needs, and the time to act is now.
With the Brexit process being formally started, it is time to consider the importance that sharing experience has for the development of concepts and principles in environmental policy says Nigel Haigh, former director of IEEP. Read more in his article here.
Together with Greener UK, IEEP's David Baldock discussed the need for strong UK institutions to effectively implement post-Brexit environmental laws. Read the full Guardian article here.
In a study for the European Parliament’s REGI Committee, IEEP examined the experience of climate mainstreaming in Cohesion Policy in the current and previous programming periods and identified the implications of the Paris Agreement in order to offer recommendations for future climate mainstreaming in the post-2020 Cohesion Policy.
Caught between rigorous economic liberalism and heartfelt environmentalism, Macron’s France is currently inscrutable.
IEEP’s Konar Mutafoglu, Patrick ten Brink, and Jean-Pierre Schweitzer authored a chapter on the role of nature and biodiversity protection in cities.
The entire book is available online for free on Elgaronline.
IEEP’s London Director Martin Nesbit discussed Brexit and climate implications with Susanne Ehlerding from Der Tagesspiegel.
Researchers Emma Watkins, Patrick ten Brink, Sirini Withana, Marianne Kettunen, Daniela Russi, Konar Mutafoglu, Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, and Giulia Gitti contributed to a chapter on the socio-economic impact of marine litter, the cost of policy inaction and action for the United Nations Environment Programme.
IEEP’s Céline Charveriat and Andrew Farmer discussed the possible consequences of Brexit for EU environmental legislation and policy.
Download the briefing here.
In the immediate aftermath of President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris agreement, the sixth largest economy of the world, California, signed an agreement with China to fight climate change. While non-binding, such cooperation represents a “trickle-up” approach to global climate change governance and is part of a wave of initiatives from non-state actors including civil society, the private sector and local authorities.
Céline Charveriat discusses US withdrawal from Paris Accord and breaking Antarctic ice shelf.
US absence and China leadership mark tectonic shift in global climate politics.