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.
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.
This study, carried out by IEEP, with the support of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, analyses the global dimension of the EU circular economy, exploring the links with trade and sustainable development.
The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) have published the first independent quantitative report on the progress of the European Union and its member states towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by all UN member states in 2015.
What are the global implications of the EU circular economy and how are they interlinked with trade? That is the question IEEP and partners are exploring this year under the auspices of the upcoming Finnish EU Presidency.
With the 2030 benchmark in the horizon, the EU needs to step up the contribution of its trade policy to biodiversity and sustainable development. IEEP identifies concrete opportunities how improving the integration of protected areas into EU trade agreements will help to support global biodiversity conservation as well as multiple sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Environment and ecosystems underpin security, both in terms of human and national security. As part of the 2030 Sustainability Agenda, IEEP and partners call for a more holistic security regime for the EU, going beyond military preparedness or response and with due links to sectoral activities that impact the environmental quality and ecosystem resilience.
Environment and ecosystems underpin security, both in terms of human and national security. A new policy paper by IEEP and partners, launched during the Planetary Security Conference in Den Haag (19 – 20 Feb), calls for a more holistic and greener security regime for the EU.
The EU risks missing out on the opportunity to take a leadership role in the implementation of SDGs domestically and globally. This paper maps the action needed to step up the delivery of the 2030 Sustainability Agenda by the EU at the global level. The paper is part of the Think2030 initiative launched by IEEP and partners in 2018.
New study by IVM and IEEP concludes that the existing approach to assessing impacts of EU trade on biodiversity is inadequate. A more comprehensive approach building on more systematic use of biodiversity indicators and synchronized, fit-for-purpose use of different methods is needed.