We cover a range of issues that bring economic analysis into policy making at the national, EU and global level. Our work focuses on different tools to support the transition to a green, resource efficient and circular economy including market-based instruments, cost and benefit assessments, sustainability indicators and environmental accounts.
We also explore the role of nature in the transition to a green economy and are at the forefront of analysis of the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Our research aims to support the integration of environmentally-sound economic signals in decision making, to encourage recognition of the true value of environmental resources and ecosystems.
The ‘green economy’ is one that pursues human progress without exceeding ecological thresholds, that ensures sustainability and simultaneously aims to reduce social disparities. Our work in this area has focused particularly on the policies and tools that are needed to support the transition to a green, resource efficient and circular economy, within the EU and internationally. There is a wide and expanding range of options.
We have examined marked based instruments to support the transition, including the use of environmental taxes and environmental tax reform (ETR), assessed the potential for reforming environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS) and explored the setting of incentives that reward environmentally progressive behaviour. Our work also aims to contribute to an improved understanding of the benefits and costs of environmental policy to provide an informed and balanced view to policy makers.
The analysis and assessment of the multiple benefits of nature to people, society and the economy is another focus of the team. Our work on assessing nature's multiple values seeks to support the integration of such values in decision-making and mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services in relevant policy areas (e.g. agriculture, cohesion, water). The Programme has made a substantial contribution to the important international initiative The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB).
Another area of our work is the development and uptake of indicators of sustainability which take account of environmental and social factors contributing to human well-being, going beyond measures of economic performance such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This runs in parallel with work on environmental-economic and natural capital accounts, exploring the use of such tools in policy. For example we have been supporting the European ‘Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services’ (MAES) process.
Agriculture is out of the green list for climate action, risking its access to much needed private capital to support the sector in both its sustainability transition and in responding to the adaptation needs in light of a changing climate.
European tax systems today are neither fair nor green. But a new political grand bargain on tax is now possible that can help boost jobs, fight inequalities and bring Europe’s economy back inside our planetary boundaries. Here’s how.
Bank deposits increased rapidly in the EU in 2020. This is linked with the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. How can public institutions help align consumption decisions to the EU’s climate ambitions?
IEEP is pleased to invite you to a high-level European Commission event with Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius and a distinguished panel to discuss how green taxation can help build fairer, more resilient economies.
The EU's new biodiversity strategy is an ambitious, constructive and coherent strategy that delivers on the commitment from the EU and its Member States to protect the living world and implement national strategies and action plans to achieve it.
The international community is buzzing with talks on how to rebuild trade as part of the post-COVID-19 economic recovery, but nuanced views on how governments should pursue trade recovery are disturbingly scarce. Here are ten ways governments can ensure trade policy is an integral part of building back better.
Aiming to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, governments across Europe are advising people to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary – but just how important is access to the outdoors for one's mental and physical well-being?
Ahead of the publication of this year's country recommendations for the European Semester, this paper identifies priorities and modalities for the reform of the Semester so that it becomes a key instrument for operationalising the SDGs and implementing the European Green Deal at Member State level.
The following analysis looks at the problem areas identified in the latest State of the Environment Report and assesses how well the Green Deal’s policy proposals address the targets and objectives deemed unlikely to be met by 2020.
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 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.
This policy brief intends to inform business and biodiversity professionals about innovative examples in the EU and Mexico that can help to transform the economics of nature conservation, resulting in increased finance for biodiversity.
Today we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity aiming at increasing understanding of the diversity of life on the planet and awareness of its importance for human development. IEEP takes the opportunity to share some key positive lessons from recent EU biodiversity action and identify key remaining challenges towards 2030.
IEEP has developed a bottom-up, multicriteria methodology to assess costs and benefits of EU water policy, which has been applied in eight river basin districts across the EU. A similar methodology could support progress towards a number of EU, national and international policy objectives at the river basin and local level, including the achievement of SDGs.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important policy tool for protecting vulnerable marine and coastal species and habitats.
By supporting the resilience of ecosystems, MPAs may also maintain and generate goods and services that can benefit different sectors in the “blue” European economy. However, MPAs are often seen as primarily imposing restrictions and costs on economic activities, creating aversion toward their establishment and protection.