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.
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).
IEEP Head of Industry, Waste and Water Programme, Andrew Farmer, writes in UN Environment’s Perspective series on why addressing pollution is important in contributing to achieving SDG objectives related to poverty.
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?
Over the years the EU has had a major impact on ensuring that governments do what they promise on the environment. As the UK leaves, both the British Government and the EU-27 need to think about how to replicate those benefits in future.
A European system for chemicals regulation makes obvious sense – but Brexit risks leaving the UK without access to that system. Nigel Haigh, former Executive Director of IEEP, explains that even if the UK secures an overall deal, there are big challenges to finding an answer to the chemicals conundrum.
Juncker’s State of the European Union speech sets an ambitious path for a stronger Europe, and while his ambition for climate leadership is welcome, he was mostly silent about wider environmental sustainability.
IEEP held a one-day conference in Brussels on 5 October 2017 to present the findings of a major study for the European Commission on the use of market-based instruments to address pollution and resource use.
2017 is an important year for discussing the future of Europe. A key basis for this debate is the White Paper of the European Commission alongside subsequent reflection pieces regarding specific dimensions of European policy, including the social dimension of Europe, globalization, the Economic and Monetary Union, European defense and European finances.
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.
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.
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.