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.
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.
Europeans face health and social challenges that merit urgent attention – obesity, mental health problems, social exclusion, air and noise pollution, and heat stress in cities. Our work is helping to address these issues, particularly those affecting socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
Protecting nature and biodiversity is helping to tackle urgent health and social challenges across Europe. A new IEEP study shows how urban, suburban and rural green areas bring multiple and often overlooked benefits to society.
The March 2016 Beyond GDP newsletter sheds light on the creation of indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals and relates this process to the Europe 2020 and EU Sustainable Development Strategies.
There is an important environmental dimension to any decision by the UK to leave the EU. This paper for the UK All-Party Parliamentary Environment Group (APPG) explores the options that might be pursued outside the EU and considers the potential impact on environmental and climate policy.