The European Union’s imprint on both the global environment and on environmental policy beyond its borders has been sizeable. This influence will likely remain in the years ahead, although its role as a driver of progress is challenged as major economic players and new international political dynamics emerge.
How should EU’s role evolve in a changing world? How can the EU and its Member States best support the delivery of global commitments, such as the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How should their implementation be held to account? What can Europe offer – and learn – through efforts on global dialogue and diplomacy? How can its own policies align better to global imperatives?
IEEP’s work on Global Challenges and SDGs focuses on the global dimension and external impacts of EU policies, both positive and negative. We support the development of environmental and environment-related policies with global implications as well as feed into relevant international processes and discussions. In particular, we aim to ensure that the EU will deliver on its commitments to the global climate and 2030 SDG agendas, both in terms of its internal and external policies.
To inform future European Commission’s legislative efforts, IEEP’s discussion paper articulates sustainability criteria aimed at addressing the roots of deforestation, ecosystem degradation and human right violations driven by the EU’s purchase of agricultural commodities in third countries.
In its efforts to deliver on the EU Green Deal and to step up EU action, the European Commission launched a public consultation on deforestation and forest degradation. We've submitted several recommendations based on our work on these and related topics.
The shift to a circular economy in the EU will not be sustainable by default. It will only be so if it reflects the implications both within and outside the EU.
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.
While the circular economy has gained a lot of attention domestically, the impacts of the EU’s shift on the rest of the world through international trade have remained largely unexplored.
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.
IEEP’s newest report examines the foreseen impacts of implementing circular economy measures in the EU on international trade and – through trade – on 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.
Despite new and promising announcements by the Trade Commissioner-designate Phil Hogan, the EU is struggling to turn words and good intentions into effective actions when it comes to using trade as a vehicle for sustainability.
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.
This report by IEEP and SDSN compares the performance of the EU and its 28 member states on all 17 SDGs and provides detailed country profiles using a mix of data sources.
The contribution and value of nature to human welfare and well-being – our natural capital – tends to be overlooked in many policy decisions and business choices. As a result, ecosystems are being degraded and natural resources are being used in an unsustainable way.
SDSN and IEEP organised a conference to launch the 2019 Europe Sustainable Development Report.
The event explores the interface between trade, sustainable development and the circular economy, seeking to improve policy coherence.
Never has a research and innovation framework design exercise been so important to the future of Europe. With a headline budget of €100bn, the Commission is currently engaging with citizens, researchers, policymakers, innovators and others to debate and shape the strategic priorities for Horizon Europe - EU’s future research and innovation framework programme.
As we enter a new political cycle for the EU, it is worth pondering whether environmental risks and scarcities feature high enough on Europe’s security agenda.
A new IEEP briefing provides a timely review of the EU’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ahead of the July UN High-level Political Forum (HLPF) and the September SDG Summit. It assesses the progress made, highlights some shortcomings of the EU SDG reporting and provides recommendations for future action.
This IEEP briefing provides a review of the European Union’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ahead of July's UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) and September's SDG Summit.
Eurostat has just published its annual report on EU progress towards the SDGs. While the report paints a rather positive picture of progress, this should be put into perspective due to some gaps in the methodology.