Global Challenges and SDGs
Global environmental dimensions of EU policy
IEEP is closely involved in informing the debate on the global environmental contributions and consequences of EU policy and we actively provide input to the evidence base and policy debates in this sphere. In particular, we aim to ensure the highest level of ambition by the EU to contribute to the global climate and 2030 SDG agendas.
EU policies have both global aspirations and implications. The EU aims to support sustainable development and stability in third countries through its external policies and assistance programmes. At the same time, many EU policies – such as those on trade, energy, agriculture and fisheries – have direct and indirect impacts on land-use, natural resources and environmental and ecosystem quality outside the Union, as well as on the pattern of global economic development.
IEEP is among the leading experts on the development and assessment of policies and mechanisms that promote the delivery of better environmental and ecosystem quality across sectors. For example, our work seeks to ensure that the EU policy decisions affecting the demand, consumption and production patterns on bioresources lead to sustainable outcomes. We also support the development of EU’s circular economy policies so as to warrant a shift to sustainable consumption and production both in- and outside the Union, as well as to better understand global material and waste flows. We also work on the environmental and sustainability dimensions of trade policy, considered to be a key mechanism for the EU to support the 2030 sustainability agenda at global level.
This report conducts a comparative analysis of eleven EU free trade agreements and assesses EU’s trade policy with regard to environmental integration in free trade agreements and their underpinning processes.
A window of opportunity. That is a good description of the coming months of global environmental policy, with the US re-joining the Paris Agreement and with the postponed climate and biodiversity Conferences of Parties (COPs) on the agenda.
Under the European Green Deal, the EU has pledged to minimise its contribution to deforestation and forest degradation around the world and to promote the consumption of goods from deforestation-free supply chains. But what will that mean in practice?
The briefing addresses the need for a new approach to environmental standards in trade policy relating to agri-foods, primarily in relation to the UK which is now developing its own policy outside the EU.
A recent virtual seminar co-hosted by IEEP and the Mission of Canada to the EU discussed the future of biodiversity conservation in the COVID-19 context. The seminar was part of a series of events the Mission of Canada to the EU is organising on shared ‘green’ policy priorities on the Canada and EU agendas.
This briefing paper shows that not enough progress is being made on the SDGs to achieve the targets of Agenda 2030 by its deadline. To make matters worse, the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to reverse existing positive trends.
A recent online event moderated by IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen and hosted by the EU office of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Foundation discussed the role of trade policy in the EU Green Deal in the post-COVID-19 context. The event provided insights from experts from the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Climate Foundation.
The COVID crisis has been a concrete lesson on the interdependency between the different elements of sustainability. The response needs to be equally all-inclusive, with Sustainable Development Goals providing a suitable framework.
This policy brief reflects on the challenges of a carbon border adjustment mechanism in the post-COVID-19 economy and explores the role environmental product standards can play to complement the mechanism.
The EU has been actively promoting trade as a tool that fosters sustainability, both globally and within partner countries. The European Green Deal, forming the blueprint for EU policy- and decision making for the upcoming five years, univocally reconfirms this role and objective of the EU trade policy.
In the wake of the Green Deal, IEEP’s newest report analyses the environmental performance of the EU’s trade policy. It concludes that more comprehensive efforts by the European Commission to uphold – and upgrade – environmental standards as part of trade are needed to deliver the promises made in the Green Deal.
The EU’s food sector, due to its high demand for imported agricultural products like palm oil, soy, cocoa and coffee, is a significant contributor to deforestation and ecosystem degradation in third countries.