Financing the green transition in times of economic recovery

An online seminar was organized on September 18th 2020, to discuss financing the green transition in times of economic recovery.  The event was a joint initiative of the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD) and the European Commission, in collaboration with the European network of Advisory Councils on Climate Change, the Environment and Sustainable Development  (EEAC Network), the European Investment Bank and the Belgian regional sustainable development councils.

Focus

The Covid19 has shaken Europe and the world to its core. To help repair the economic and social damage, kick-start European recovery, and protect and create jobs, the European Commission has proposed a major recovery plan for Europe, Next Generation EU. Reforms as well as significant investments, both from the private and public sector, are at the heart of this plan, which builds on Europe’s growth strategy, the European Green Deal, to a more sustainable, digital, fair and resilient Europe.

What was addressed 

The EU has already taken several initiatives to facilitate the financing of the green transition. We took stock of these.

The following question was center staged:

·  18 September: What are the EU initiatives to facilitate green transition financing in times of economic recovery?

Who contributed?  

Confirmed speakers are: Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (UCL), Arnau Queralt-Bassa (EEAC), Veerle Nuyts (EU Commission), Emmanuel Buttin (EU Commission), Thomas Verheye (EU Commission), Michèle Lacroix (EFRAG), Philippe Lamberts (MEP), Sirpa Pietikäinen (MEP), Pierre-Emmanuel Noël (EIB), Xavier Vanden Bosch (EU Commission), Yelter Bollen (Arbeid en Milieu, Fairfin), Pierre Vanheuverzwijn (Pacte national d’investissements stratégiques), Agnès Giner Lloret (Sowalfin), Pierre Hermant (Finance Brussels), Johan Reynaert (PMV), Jan Verheeke (Minaraad).

Follow up

The session outcome documents will be released in due time.

Internal EEAC Session: Towards an ambitious environmental policy in Germany and Europe, Part II

The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) published its Environmental Report, entitled: “Towards an ambitious environmental policy in Germany and Europe” in of May 2020. With this Environmental Report, the SRU is addressing environmental policy topics that require urgent action. These topics include: climate policy, the circular economy, water protection, sustainable neighbourhood development, noise regulation, urban mobility and the future of EU environmental policy.

In a sequence of two online sessions, SRU experts presented and discussed with EEAC colleagues:

1. The future of EU environmental policies and climate policy
2. Circular economy and urban mobility.

The first online session was held on June 5th, World Environment Day. The second session took take place on Tuesday September 1st.

The PowerPoint slides accompanying the presentations given on September 1st can be  found here:

Active and environmentally friendly urban mobility: enabling change

Reducing traffic noise to improve health and quality of life

Circular Economy: From Rhetoric to Practice

Online policy briefing on the HLPF 2020

The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) in 2020 was held from Tuesday, 7 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020. This included the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 14 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020. The theme was “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development’.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adjustments to the format and programme of HLPF 2020 were made. All meetings were held virtually, including all side and special events. In the light of this unprecedented situation, Dr. Beisheim (SWP) provided the EEAC member councils with her insights on the aim of this year’s HLPF, and answered questions about the effectiveness of the forum as well as about the possible impact of this year’s HLPF on Sustainable Development policies at European and national level. Read More

Online policy briefing on the agenda of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Germany started its Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1st 2020. Rarely have there been so many sustainability related topics on the agenda – plus the opportunity to put the billions of euros earmarked for the coronavirus recovery to transformative use. Therefore, expectations seem high.

However, due to the Covid19 crisis Germany will not be able to execute its previously stipulated Presidency agenda. This raises the question what changes the Covid19 crisis might bring to the agenda, and what the possible risks and opportunities of these changes are. Furthermore, the focus will be on the Presidency’s ambitions regarding issues such as climate change, digitalization, environmental policies and the complex Multi Annual Financial Framework negotiations.

Karsten Sach, Director General International and European Policy at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety provided insight into the Presidency’s agenda during an EEAC exclusive policy briefing. The briefing aimed to inform EEAC members about the focus of the German Presidency of the European Council, with special emphasis on issues related to climate change and environmental and sustainable development policies.

Water quantity governance in the context of climate change

Climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of the water needed to meet basic human needs. This will inevitably increase risks in energy production, food security, human health, economic development and poverty reduction, and consequently represents a serious threat to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, both climate change and the human responses to it will add to the existing pressures on water systems and ecosystems. For this reason, the EEAC Working Group on Fresh Water Affairs dedicated an online session to the challenges of water quantity governance in the context of climate change. Read More

A grip on hazardous substances

The Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) organised an on-line debate session with live presentations,  on Monday, 8 June 2020. At this meeting, the Council presented and discussed its advisory report concerning national and EU policy on hazardous substances. With the discussion and reflection involving experts, stakeholders and NGOs, the Council contributed to the debate on a European level.  Read More

Internal EEAC Session: Towards an ambitious environmental policy in Germany and Europe

The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) published its new Environmental Report, entitled: “Towards an ambitious environmental policy in Germany and Europe” on the 15th of May 2020. With this Environmental Report, the SRU is addressing environmental policy topics that require urgent action. These topics include: climate policy, the circular economy, water protection, sustainable neighbourhood development, noise regulation, urban mobility and the future of EU environmental policy.

In a sequence of two online sessions, SRU experts will present and discuss with EEAC colleagues:

1. The future of EU environmental policies and climate policy
2. Circular economy and urban mobility.

The first online session was held on June 5th, World Environment Day. The second session is scheduled to take place after summer.

How will the Covid19 crisis influence European energy and climate policies

The context in which the European energy and climate transition is taking place changes by the day due to the Covid19 crisis.  Inevitably this changing context will affect the EU’s energy and climate policies. In order to obtain a better understanding of  how the Covid19 crisis will influence European energy and climate policies, the EEAC Working Group invited Milan Elkerbout of the Center for European Policy Studies to provide the working group with an online policy briefing on this issue.

During the session, Milan touched upon both the short-term and the longer-term impacts of Covid19 on EU energy and climate policies. With this session the EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change provided participants with an enhanced understanding of the short-term and longer-term impact of the Covid19 crisis on EU Energy and Climate Policies. An outcome document will be shared in due time.

Responding to Covid19: Building social, economic and environmental resilience with the European Green Deal 

In response to the Covid19 pandemic, the Board of the EEAC Network hosted a meeting of council members, secretary-generals and directors of its member bodies to discuss the pandemic and what it will mean for the sustainable development and environmental agendas. There was a consensus that the pandemic reinforces the need to actively pursue an enhanced European Green Dealand the UN
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Following the meeting, EEAC Chairman Arnau Queralt Bassa drafted a messages, entitled Responding to Covid19, Building social, economic and environmental resilience with the European Green Deal 

Expert Meeting International Rail (II)

THIS EVENT IS CANCELLED DUE TO CORONA RESTRICTIONS

Subsequent to the expert meeting in January 2020, the advisory bodies from Belgium (FRDO-CFDD), the Netherlands (Rli) and Luxembourg (CSDD) will organize an expert meeting to present and discuss the insights gained from their work so far. This exchange will help to enrich and focus the Council’s advice and determine the most effective target audience and form of recommendations.

The advisory bodies aim to meet representatives from rail infra, train operating companies, service providers, government authorities and representatives of EU organisations and institutions who are involved in improving international passenger rail transport.

The expert meeting will take place in Brussels on April 15th in the afternoon. The language of the meeting will be English. Simultaneous interpretation in French will be provided. If you are interested to joy the meeting, please contact Tim Zwanikken (project leader, tim.zwanikken@rli.nl, 00 31 (0)6 5287 4404).