The environmental governance team covers strategic questions and examines the mechanics and processes behind the formulation and implementation of environmental policies. Our work is spread across a wide, often cross-cutting, range of issues.
Key tasks include monitoring current developments in EU environmental policy, including the role of the budget, assessing environmental policy integration and policy coherence, conducting impact assessment and policy evaluation studies, evaluating policy implementation and enforcement, and looking at the global dimension of European environmental policy.
At its founding in 1957, the then European Economic Community (EEC) did not have an environmental dimension. Today the EU has some of the most progressive environmental policies in the world. EU legislation has played a vital role in improving habitat and species protection and river management, and has contributed to dramatic improvements in air and water quality and waste management. Although significant challenges remain, it is widely acknowledged that EU policy has successfully reduced a number of pressures on the environment and stimulated investment in more sustainable economic growth.
The EU has developed a ‘tool box’ of policy instruments, approaches and strategies with which to pursue its environmental objectives. It has also adopted a number of cross-cutting strategies and approaches to policy making to provide the overarching context for environmental decision-making. These are seen to be increasingly significant to the environmental debate in Europe.
Over the years the EU has taken on a growing leadership role in the global context.
Although the EU has an aspirational goal of an 80-95% GHG emissions cut for 2050, compared to 1990 levels, currently planned measures and intermediate goals are not in-line even with the low end of this aim. Additionally, the EU would have to over perform if 1.5 degrees were the aim, as developing economies cannot realistically be expected to reduce emissions as quickly.
Current policies are not enough to deliver the Paris Agreement ambition to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. Preparation of a European strategy on long-term decarbonisation of the economy is a critical opportunity for a step change. To seize it, we need a strategy which considers the economy as a whole, and draws the lessons for early action and investment in each sector.
In a recently publicly published book chapter, Jean-Pierre Schweitzer and IEEP’s Susanna Gionfra brought together evidence of how nature-based education, utilizing green infrastructure and protected areas, presents an opportunity to mitigate the impacts of environmental and socio-economic challenges faced by urban citizens.
Achieving gender equality in Europe in research and science, in line with the spirit of the European Commission’s strategic engagement for gender equality, the European pillar of social rights and SDG5, remains a major challenge.
IEEP Executive Director, Céline Charveriat, explores the achievements and areas of improvement for gender equality in European research.
The Commission has set out its initial proposals for the next “Multi-Annual Financial Framework” – the planning period for the EU budget which sets the priorities for spending, and shares out EU money between programmes and Member States. We’ve been examining what’s at stake for the environment, sustainable development, and Europe’s future.
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.
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?
A newly published study for the European Commission by IEEP and partners investigates civil society’s role in improving the effectiveness of environmental taxes to reduce pollution and better manage natural resources.
Martin Nesbit, head of climate and governance and David Baldock, senior fellow at IEEP spoke at an evidence session of the House of Lords' Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 Committee on 28 November.
The Future of Europe is everyone’s business and so is the impact of climate action over the decades to come.
The EU has to make sure it is able to tackle the biggest and longest-lasting policy challenge it faces. IEEP, E3G and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Foundation have recently joined forces to make sure climate policy gets more attention as part of the Future of Europe debate launched by the Commission.
If caring for the planet starts from the ground, then caring for the planet starts with farmers, foresters and all others who manage and use the EU’s soils. It follows that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as a major driver of the decisions made by Europe’s 12 million farmers, is critical to securing responsible, long term management of our soils and related ecosystem services.
It is clear that the 2030 Agenda will not be achieved without a more circular economy.
If all citizens of the world were to have the same consumption patterns as European citizens by 2050, the resources of two planets would be needed. Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns - through a circular economy - will have positive knock-on effects for a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).