Recent publications by EEAC member bodies

EEAC member councils are tasked to advise their governments and parliaments on issues related to the environment and sustainable development. On this page you will find the latest (2022) publications by EEAC member bodies that are available in English.

Opinion on biodiversity policy

The Federal Council for Sustainable Development in Belgium (FRDO-CFDD) together with Brussels Region Environment Council (RLBHG) published an own initiative opinion on biodiversity policy. The opinion was prepared by the "Biodiversity and Forests" and "International Relations" working groups and was approved by the FRDO-CFDD General Assembly by written procedure.
Opinion on biodiversity policy
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Nature Inclusive Netherlands: Nature everywhere and for everyone

In its advisory report Nature-Inclusive Netherlands, the Rli calls on the Dutch Government to reverse the decline of nature and to ensure its recovery. Such efforts will only succeed, however, if the authorities commit to nature everywhere and for everyone. Ensure that the quality of nature is adequate everywhere: The government’s current nature policy is ineffective in part because it confines itself mainly to protected nature areas. Protecting these areas will not reverse biodiversity loss, however. The authorities must also do their best to restore nature and biodiversity outside them. More green spaces are needed in and around towns and cities, green spaces that everyone can easily walk or cycle to. Nature must also be restored in rural areas, where it has suffered serious deterioration in recent decades. The Rli advocates establishing a minimum quality standard for nature on a region-by-region basis. Integrate the approach to nature into the transformation of the Netherlands: The Netherlands will be undergoing a major transformation in the years ahead in response to the many challenges it faces, for example in housing construction, the energy transition, climate change adaptation, the nitrogen crisis and the transition to more sustainable agriculture. This transformation will create excellent opportunities for nature restoration outside the protected areas. Many public and private organisations and municipal authorities are also willing to adopt more nature-inclusive practices, but they will only succeed if the authorities support their efforts and fully commit to nature-inclusive policy objectives themselves (e.g. by setting a good example when managing or leasing government-owned land). The Rli recommends a regional approach that integrates nature restoration with policy addressing the other challenges society faces, along with relevant sector-specific agreements. The necessary funds can be provided through the Climate and Transition Fund and Nitrogen Fund, among others. Take nature fully into account in economic and political decision-making: Nature is essential for human existence. Despite this, it is still regarded mainly as an expense in economic and political decision-making and is therefore not accorded its full due. There are still too many financial and other incentives that promote nature loss; damage to nature goes unpunished and nature restoration unrewarded. The Rli therefore recommends gearing subsidies and tax measures in agriculture, industry and nature management towards building a nature-inclusive society and giving the value of nature more weight in economic and political decision-making.
Nature Inclusive Netherlands: Nature everywhere and for everyone
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Towards Transformative Outcomes: Examples of how Well-being Frameworks have been Embedded into Policy Making

This research looks at how national well-being frameworks have been incorporated into budgeting a nd policy-making processes in New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. It also looks at the approach taken under Ireland’s Better Outcomes: Brighter Futures – The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People, 2014-2020 (BOBF). BOBF is a sectoral policy framework, but has similar elements to those found in national well-being frameworks. Information was gathered through literature reviews and interviews with those working to design, implement and/or monitor the various well-being frameworks.
Towards Transformative Outcomes: Examples of how Well-being Frameworks have been Embedded into Policy Making
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Climate-friendly food and consumer behaviour

Current Danish food consumption is an obstacle to Denmark’s ambition of taking the lead in climate change mitigation, as the Danes have one of the largest climate footprints from food consumption per capita, The Danish Climate Change Council aruges. The average Dane eats more than double the amount of animal-based food compared to the global average, and also eats more meat and dairy products than the European average. This means that the climate impact of Danish food consumption exceeds the sustainable level seen from a global perspective. The aim of this analysis is to identify the barriers to an increased climate-friendly diet in Denmark and to identify potential instruments to reduce these barriers. The Danish Council on Climate Change (DCCC) proposes various measures that can accelerate the transition to more climate-friendly food consumption in Denmark. In addition, the purpose of the analysis is to estimate the climate effect if all Danes changed to a climate-friendly diet. The analysis focuses on reducing Danish consumption-based emissions, which is another way of accounting for Denmark’s climate impact instead of measuring territorial emissions. Binding international obligations and national targets, such as the Danish 70 per cent reduction target in 2030, are based on Denmark’s territorial emissions.
Climate-friendly food and consumer behaviour
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Climate protection needs tailwind: Towards a reliable expansion of onshore wind energy in Germany

Onshore wind energy is one of the pillars of the energy transition. Germany can only reach its climate targets if onshore wind is developed much faster. However, in the last few years the expansion has almost stalled. The statement "Climate protection needs tailwind: Towards a reliable expansion of onshore wind energy" shows how challenges can be met.The most important reason for the faltering expansion of wind energy is that too few areas have been designated and secured in spatial planning. In addition, some German regions (Länder) have set distances between wind turbines and residential areas that cannot be justified in terms of protecting residents. The lack of standards in nature conservation and species protection leads to legal uncertainties. In general, the planning and approval procedures for wind turbines are error-prone and lengthy. Regions in which wind energy is used also benefit too little from the energy transition. This has an impact on local acceptance. There is also a need for change in the area of funding.
Climate protection needs tailwind: Towards a reliable expansion of onshore wind energy in Germany
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Status outlook, Denmark’s national climate targets & international obligations

The Danish Council on Climate Change (DCCC) launched the status outlook report 2022. The outlook centers on the Danish climate targets for 2025, 2030 and 2050. In the outlook, the DCCC makes an assessment regarding the likelihood of reaching the targets, focus on central areas for climate policy, and relevant political measures to bring Denmark closer to reaching its targets. A central element of the report is the DCCC’s statutory assessment of whether the Danish government's climate efforts have demonstrated how to reach the target of a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Danish climate policy takes place on an international stage, where the EU in particular has an influence on the frameworks and options for Danish climate efforts. The DCCC’s outlook therefore focuses in particular on EU climate policy. The outlook also addresses global climate efforts
Status outlook, Denmark’s national climate targets & international obligations
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Impetus for an inclusive and networked multilateralism for sustainable development

To mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) in 2020, UN Secretary General António Guterres published the ‘Our Common Agenda’ report. A core theme of the report is greater solidarity between present and future generations – at the national level and in a multilateral system –aimed at helping to overcome complex global crises that already exist and prevent new ones from arising, while in general contributing to a more equitable world that is fit for the future. The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) recommends that the new Federal Government in Germany combine the strengthening of multilateralism referred to in the German Coalition Agreement with the objectives of social-ecological transformation at the global level and, to do so, adopt many of the UN Secretary General’s proposals as its own. In the its statement, the RNE furthermore sets out, on the basis of the Our Common Agenda report, concrete recommendations for action on implementing the agenda in Germany, approaches for strengthening multilateralism in the United Nations and possible courses of action for enhancing governance of the global commons.
Impetus for an inclusive and networked multilateralism for sustainable development
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A coastline on the edge

The Advisory Council on Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS) presented the report “The Coastline on the Edge. Recommendations for an integrated management of the Catalan coast”. The report proposes tools that shape a framework of integrated policies for the transformation towards sustainability, making it compatible with the blue economy. The report proposes 10 recommendations that include several possible actions. They focus on a wide range of topics including the creation of a Coastal Conservatory with a similar scope as the French “Conservatoire du littoral”; the regulation of tourism in overexploited areas; promoting fiscal greening with the review of the ultimate destination of the tourism tax for conservation purposes or studying the creation of a tax for secondary residences; the restoration of hydromorphological dynamics on rivers to ensure sediment inputs in coastal areas; and the re-dimensioning and reformulation of certain critical infrastructures for climate adaptation. The publication’s lead authors include Dr Puri Canals-Ventín and Dr Carles Ibáñez-Martí, members of CADS. The report is the final result of a strategic thinking process that included a series of public debates considering the quadruple helix. Throughout the process, CADS gathered expert and scientific site-specific knowledge on coastal management in Catalonia and surrounding environments.
A coastline on the edge
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Farmers with a future

Agriculture in the Netherlands must become more sustainable. The necessary transition will have a significant impact on how farmers operate their businesses. The Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) has considered which government policy will help agri-entrepreneurs to determine their own future within the boundaries of sustainability set by government and society. In other words: how can the government encourage farmers to use their entrepreneurial skills to earn an acceptable income within the boundaries that the environment imposes on their business? We spoke to farmers from different backgrounds to find out what they think about building a sustainable future for themselves.
Farmers with a future
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Circular Economy: Leveraging a Sustainable Transformation

Despite its already established high leverage effect and the fact that some progress1 has already been made here, the circular economy has yet to take the spotlight in the political sphere. A strategic approach to circularity is urgently needed and should be developed, managed and implemented in a cross-ministerial capacity in line with efforts at EU level and together with international partner nations. Against this backdrop the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) recommends organising the transition to circularity via a new, cross-ministerial governance mechanism coordinated by the German Federal Chancellery. An additional thirteen other recommendations - ranging from the need for social safeguarding instruments or expanding education and research - are part of the RNE's statement.
Circular Economy: Leveraging a Sustainable Transformation
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The role of hydrogen in climate protection: quality rather than quantity

In the view of the SRU, blue hydrogen is not suitable as a so-called bridging technology, as this would require new infrastructure that would delay the long-term transformation to renewable energies. Only green hydrogen can be produced without greenhouse gas emissions and sustainably. However, the production of green hydrogen has an environmental footprint as well. It consumes large amounts of renewable electricity and requires raw materials and land. Moreover, the additional water consumption can be a problem for arid regions. To limit negative environmental and social impacts, a certification system with ambitious sustainability criteria is necessary. State support for green hydrogen and downstream products should be focused on the sectors in which its use is necessary for long-term decarbonisation. These include, above all, the chemical industry, the steel industry, and international shipping and aviation. For heating and passenger cars, however, the use of hydrogen is inefficient and significantly more expensive than direct electrification via heat pumps and battery-electric vehicles. Infrastructure planning for hydrogen, natural gas and electricity should be more closely interlinked and aligned with climate targets. Long-term strategies for the phase-out of natural gas and oil should be laid down in order to avoid misinvestment in fossil technologies and to initiate the necessary transformation in all sectors.
The role of hydrogen in climate protection: quality rather than quantity
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Planetary Health, what we need to talk about?

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how vulnerable we are and how closely connected we are with Nature. Health cannot be taken for granted. Do we take the prerequisites for healthy living seriously enough? Or are we, as a civilization, systematically jeopardizing our health? The WBGU is currently working on the interconnections between health and global environmental change and would like to put forward three assertions and ten sets of questions for discussion. The assertions made and questions posed are intended to stimulate debate on further steps towards a healthier and more sustainable world. The assertions and questions can be found in the WBGU Fact Sheet.
Planetary Health, what we need to talk about?
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