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.
Picking up on the numerous ongoing negotiations on Green Deal files in the legislative procedure, as well as the impact of the war in Ukraine and the energy price hike, the Barometer paints a picture of the Green Deal as it currently stands.
In 2021, the European Commission committed to ending the use of cages for farmed animals within the EU before the end of 2023, but no estimate of the costs of compliance with the proposed legislation has been published as yet. This report considers the question of which sources of public funding, EU and national, could be used to aid the transition, alongside the contributions of producers themselves and others in the food chain.
Modelling of the distributional impacts of the proposed Energy Taxation Directive reform and Emissions Trading Scheme extension shows these polluter pays policies can help fight inequality and the climate crisis.
This new report finds that EU polluters are not currently paying for most of the environmental damage they cause and explores how taxes and other economic instruments could help to better apply the polluter pays principle.
A political agreement was found for the first step of the EU Taxonomy. This represents a major achievement for the EU’s sustainable finance agenda, yet political decisions and lack of transparency endanger the scientific basis on which the strength of the Taxonomy rests.
Today IEEP responded to the public consultation on the draft sustainability criteria for the sustainable finance taxonomy. In the call for feedback, the Platform on Sustainable Finance is gathering evidence to strengthen the final recommendations to the European Union.
Policies that serve current and future generations should be developed with a robust science-policy interface. The EU Taxonomy process teaches valuable lessons on the need to strengthen the elements that underpin decision-making. IEEP, together with Marzia Traverso (RWTH Aachen University) draw conclusions on transparency, independence and accessibility of scientific evidence in the political decision-making 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.