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.
A new study by IEEP assesses the current state of play with environmental taxes in Europe, explores where further greening taxation could be appropriate and how to drive this agenda forward through ‘coalitions of like-minded countries’.
A range of examples exist around the world on innovative instruments that can finance, cover or recover the costs of policy action on invasive alien species. A review by IEEP and partners identifies a number of such examples and assesses their pros and cons.
This new book edited by F. Oosterhuis (IVM) and P. ten Brink (IEEP) provides insights on the scale and impact of environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS), the importance of reforming such subsidies, examples of successful reform and their benefits, lessons learned and tools to support reform efforts.
Thursday 12th December: IEEP and UNEP are hosting two webinar discussions on the values of water and wetlands and how to mainstream these values into policy-making in order to promote wise use and management.
A webinar on social and economic benefits of protected landscapes was organised by Europarc Atlantic Isles on 20 November. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen kicked off the event by a European overview and some key considerations of assessing benefits in practice.
IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen outlined key perspectives on the valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services in a regional workshop on the Valuation of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services in the Baltic Sea, Stockholm (7-8 Nov 2013)
The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is out. Director David Baldock reflects on 40 years of EU environmental policy, plus an update on biofuels policy, costs and benefits of energy savings, developing Natural Captal accounts, and much more...
Today, there is close to 25 years of experience with environmental tax reforms (ETR), with a growing number of countries engaging in ETR for various reasons. International experiences provide important insights on the design and implementation of ETR to facilitate more effective use of such instruments in the wider policy mix.
There is an urgent need to find sufficient resources to enable developing countries to implement the global targets for biodiversity by 2020. Financing the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity from different sectoral funding flows can complement global biodiversity financing.
The Port Reception Facilities Directive requires ships to discharge their waste to dedicated port reception facilities in the EU, but illegal discharges at sea of ship generated waste still take place. This report recommends ways to improve the Directive.
Mire ecosystems are well-known for their unique species and habitats of high conservation value and they also provide a range of benefits to our societies and economies. This publication outlines the results of a pioneering project that aimed to identify and valuate ecosystem services provided by pristine mires and managed peatlands in Finland.