The EEAC Network formally endorsed the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies in September 2019 and will now join the Global Forum’s inaugural meeting in Bogota from 17 to 19 February 2020. The focus of this inaugural meeting is to identify the demands and capacities for SDG-delivery for all network members as well as providing potential pathways and competencies for accelerated SDG implementation.
This unique gathering will allow all network members to become engaged in implementation through the structured exchange of experience with other network members and through the development of roadmaps for implementation back to back with the identified demands and capacities.
The EEAC Network will be represented by its Chairman, Arnau Queralt, supported by the Network’s coordinator Michiel de Vries. More information will follow in due time. For further information on the Global Forum itself, please consult the Forum’s website
The EEAC Network organized a working session on the European Green Deal in Brussels on Thursday February 13th, 2020.
During the one day working session, EEAC members engaged with think-tanks and other EU oriented organizations to learn how these organizations perceive the ambitions and proposals included in the European Green Deal.
Experts from – among others – Bruegel; IDDRI; IEEP, EEB, EESC-SDO, and EPC shared an overall assessment of the Green Deal’s content and potential, as well as more sector specific analyses. Please consult the programme for more information.
A session outcome document will be published in due time.
The EEAC Network published it’s Annual Plan 2020 on January 24th 2020. The Network aims to enrich the advice that individual advisory bodies can give to their governments and parliaments, to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and policy making and to connect the work of the (sub)national councils and the European policy level with regard to climate change, the environment and sustainable development. To achieve these aims, the board of the EEAC Network presents an Annual Plan. The Plan is a framework for action. Including, a list of thematic areas of common interest; proposed exchange and activities as well as an overview of the tentative agendas of the EEAC member bodies. Click here to read more
The EEAC Working Group on Fresh Water Affairs met online with other stakeholders to discuss the outcomes and possible consequences of the recent EU Water Directives fitness check. These Directives are crucial tools for achieving the goals set out by the European Commission in the Green Deal, and are to be considered important pillars to achieve the SDGs, especially SDGs 6, 14 and 15. Hans Stielstra (European Commission, DG Environment) guided the participants through the fitness check and its outcomes. Possible consequences of the fitness check for the work ahead were debated among all participants. In his session outcome letter, Jan Verheeke (Chairman of the EEAC Working Group on Fresh Water Affairs) wishes to share the main observations and findings of our gathering. Click here to read the session outcome letter.
Climate change, raw materials scarcity and loss of biodiversity make the transition to a sustainable economy inevitable. To ensure a smooth transition the government must provide greater direction, and this should be based on a guiding vision that gives primacy to the pursuit of well-being – a broad concept of prosperity and welfare. This is the conclusion of the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure’s advisory report ‘Towards a Sustainable Economy: The governance of transitions’.
Sustainable economy requires a vision based on well-being
The Dutch government has set ambitious goals for sustainability for both the short and long term, such as a 49% CO2 emissions reduction by 2030 and a fully circular economy by 2050. But there is no coherent vision of what a sustainable society will look like, nor a roadmap for getting there. Such a vision should make the connection between economic, social and economic objectives. In view of the limits to growth that the earth sets on our current economic system, this vision should be based on a broad concept of well-being which goes beyond material prosperity to include aspects such as health and quality of life. Furthermore, creating this vision as advocated by the Council is not a one-off exercise, but a gradual process.
The government must strike a balance between old and new
The government wants the transition to a sustainable economy to inflict the least possible damage on society and rightly attaches importance to striking a balance between maintaining the existing economic structures and fostering structural change. However, the Council notes that, in practice, too often the source of economic renewal is sought within the existing economic system, and that this can hamper progress towards the sustainability targets as well as depress long-term national economic prospects. Right from the start of the transition, therefore, the government should pay more attention to phasing out particular economic activities wherever necessary. This will require not just a sector-by-sector approach to sustainability, but also a macroeconomic perspective on a sustainable economy as a whole. Moreover, existing legislation and institutional structures – which includes the government itself – favour established parties and interests over innovative newcomers wanting to enter the market.
The government should be more willing to regulate and adopt pricing measures
During transitions, the government is reluctant to use the effective instruments of pricing and regulation to get producers and consumers to embrace sustainability. This is particularly the case for internationally operating industries. The Council concludes that because these instruments are so effective they should be used sooner and more often in the transition process. In the Council’s view, the argument that sustainability harms international competitiveness is used selectively to avoid introducing appropriate measures, which can lead to unnecessary delays.
Click here to read the report