EEAC member councils: Latest publications

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 publications by EEAC member councils

A chaning sea

The objective of this report issued by the Advisory Council for Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS) is to build on actions taken by the Government of Catalonia with a view to ensuring their contribution to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 of the 2030 Agenda (on the marine environment) and their medium- to long-term transformative potential, in accordance with the magnitude of the challenges and, especially, the opportunities related to the so-called “blue economy”. The report also aims to develop the Government of Catalonia’s leadership in the promotion of the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) in Catalonia and contribute to compliance with the EU's Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), which has set 2020 as the deadline to achieve Good Environmental Status of EU marine waters. The recommendations included in this CADS report are geared towards making progress in the sustainable management of the marine and coastal environment, making the conservation of the marine environment compatible with the socio-economic activity that takes place in it or directly affects it, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
A chaning sea
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Housing Policy: Actions to Deliver Change

the National Economic and Social Council restates in its latest publication their long-standing position on housing and land-use policy: Ireland must bring about a fundamental change in its system of urban development, land management and housing provision. It must evolve from a speculative and highly cyclical system to a permanently affordable, stable and more sustainable system of housing. Pursuing that objective, this report is concerned with two related issues: first, bridging the supply gap by actively managing land and locational value for public good; second, bridging the affordability gap by engineering-in permanent affordability. This report details the steps necessary to bridge these two gaps by way of institutional adjustments, more effective use of existing policy instruments, and innovation to enhance the policy options available to the State. Overall, this report builds on the Council’s previous work in this critical area, moving from the recognition that direct public-policy influence is needed, to making specific recommendations for bold action to improve housing supply, urban development and affordability. The willingness to intervene displayed in the pandemic response and the urgency afforded to the issue in the Programme for Government should embolden policy-makers to act on these recommendations.
Housing Policy: Actions to Deliver Change
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Rethinking Land in the Anthropocene: from Separation to Integration

Only if there is a fundamental change in the way we manage land can we reach the targets of climate-change mitigation, avert the dramatic loss of biodiversity and make the global food system sustainable. The WBGU proposes five multiple-benefit strategies illustrating ways of overcoming competition between rival claims to the use of land. These should be promoted by five governance strategies, especially by setting suitable framework conditions, reorienting EU policy and establishing alliances of like-minded states.
Rethinking Land in the Anthropocene: from Separation to Integration
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Access to the city: How public amenities, housing and transport are key for citizens

More and more people want to live in cities because of the concentration of work, education and care. However, the possibilities for people to participate in urban society in the Netherlands are diminishing because access to housing, transport and public amenities has declined for many of them, the Dutch Council on the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) concluded in their latest report. To guarantee access to the city for everyone, it is essential to investigate constantly whether sufficient consideration is being given to the opportunities individuals have and the impediments they face. Changes in policies and government investments are needed. The Rli recommends a number of specific changes, ranging from A) Assessing the impact of policy for the living environment on access to urban society, to B) Creating room for civil initiatives that improve access, and C) Improve access to public amenities, housing and transport.
Access to the city: How public amenities, housing and transport are key for citizens
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Laying the financial foundations for a sustainable recovery from the corona virus crisis in the EU

In its position paper the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) declared that the package of measures put forward by the European Council in July, with its 30% climate target and the financial assistance for those states and sectors hit especially hard by the corona virus crisis, contains many elements worthy of support. The RNE thus welcomes the proposal from heads of state and government as a sound basis for discussion. However, in the course of negotiations with the member states in the European Parliament further, improvements must be achieved. In its position paper , the RNE recommends, among other things, that A) the guiding compass to follow be that of sustainability, in particular the landmark announcements from Commission President Ursula von der Leyen regarding the European Green Deal and climate protection. As well as that B) the New Generation EU recovery fund be implemented swiftly, and; C) that the currently insufficient allocation of monies to international cooperation within the multiannual financial framework (MFF) be increased. The RNE further welcomes the EU summit supporting the allocation of additional EU funds for sustainability-related topics, such as for expanding EU emissions trading. Own monies for non-recycled plastic waste as well as a digital tax and a carbon border tax are planned. These funds can, however, only be allocated if all members states give their approval
Laying the financial foundations for a sustainable recovery from the corona virus crisis in the EU
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Annual Review 2020

As set out in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, a key task of the Climate Change Advisory Council in Ireland is to conduct an annual review of progress made over the previous year in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and furthering the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy and society by 2050. This is the Climate Change Advisory Council’s fourth Annual Review of progress on transition.
Annual Review 2020
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Using the CO2 budget to meet the Paris climate targets

How much CO2 can Germany still emit if it is to make its fair contribution to compliance with the Paris Agreement? In this chapter of the Environmental Report 2020, the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) exemplifies how the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement can be translated into a national CO2 budget that can serve as a yardstick for future national climate policy.
Using the CO2 budget to meet the Paris climate targets
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Making hydrogen a sustainable decarbonisation option

The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) issued a recommendation to the Federal government in response to the government’s National Hydrogen Strategy. In its recommendation RNE argues that if fossil energy from coal, oil and gas is to be almost entirely replaced by renewable energy sources by 2050 at the latest, hydrogen needs to be made a partner to the renewable energies in order to achieve sector coupling and storage, and thus also both security of supply and sustainable prices. RNE does not consider an energy transition based solely on electrification to be realisable. Electrons and molecules are consequently a necessary synthesis for a promising energy transition within industry and society. The RNE therefore fundamentally welcomes the National Hydrogen Strategy adopted by the Federal Government on 10 June 2020 and explicitly supports the establishment of a hydrogen industry being given a major boost in the stimulus package. RNE does, however, recommend that the proposed measures be substantiated in the upcoming implementation process and that they be turned into political action quickly and based on partnership. The RNE believes it is time to think big and act swiftly. At the same time, the council is aware that some of the issues such as the establishment of international partnerships, the reduction of carbon emissions and the needs-based availability of hydrogen still need to be discussed and negotiated in detail.
Making hydrogen a sustainable decarbonisation option
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Guidelines to a sustainable future

The NFFT’s newest publication divides the 34 strategic objectives and the assigned 77 tasks of the National Framework Strategy on Sustainable Development into 12 thematic groups and highlights the links between the Hungarian and international sustainable development goals (SDGs). These groups were designed to arrange the strategic objectives of the National Framework Strategy on Sustainable Development into clear and readily comprehensible themes (e.g. quality education). The 12 points of national sustainability are meant to serve as a summary of equivalent worth of the strategic objectives and tasks highlighting the most important data and messages. The presentation of the Framework Strategy in 12 points could be useful for those who would like to obtain a deeper understanding of the various dimensions of sustainability and become active participants of the sustainability transition in their own profession, work (business sector, education or local governments) or in their everyday lives.
Guidelines to a sustainable future
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For an efficient and area effective insect protection

Insects are essential components of ecosystems. They provide many services on which we rely and from which we benefit every day, for example the pollination of crops or biological pest control. Data shows a serious loss of insects, the most species-rich class of animals. A further loss of insects and thus fundamental ecosystem services would have far-reaching negative consequences, also for human well-being as well as the environment. The decline is the result of complex, often cumulative factors. Agriculture is a major contributor to this decline. Two of the most important reasons are the widespread and increasing impoverishment of the landscape structure and the input of nutrients and pesticides. In order to stop the loss of insects, the use of plant protection products and nutrients has to be reduced and monotonous landscapes have to be enriched with small structures such as hedges, trees and field margins. Furthermore, extensive grassland needs to be protected and used sustainably.
For an efficient and area effective insect protection
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Towards an ambitious environmental policy in Germany and Europe

Against the background of the Corona pandemic, climate change and biodiversity loss are currently receiving less attention. However, the long-term threat to the natural foundations of life persists. With this Environmental Report, the SRU is addressing environmental policy topics which require urgent action. The current crisis has revealed that our lives and economic activities are vulnerable to a previously unsuspected degree. As different as the two crises are, one thing they have in common is that they can only be overcome through collective and decisive action. The resuscitation of the economy which is now required should be used to find new ways of doing things. In Germany as well as in the EU, it is important that the political system proves it is capable of taking action in response to the enormous ecological and economic challenges. The report focuses on the following themes: climate policy, the circular economy, water protection, sustainable neighbourhood development, noise regulation,, urban mobility and the future of EU environmental policy.
Towards an ambitious environmental policy in Germany and Europe
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Six paths towards sustainability: a toolkit to promote a systemic transformation towards sustainable development in Finland

The Global Sustainable Development Report shows that we are heading towards the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030, but much too slowly. Inequality is increasing, climate change is advancing, biodiversity is decreasing, and waste volumes are growing. These phenomena are affected by several interconnected factors. However, we can change course if we identify the interlinkages between the aforementioned problems and steer our societies comprehensively in a more sustainable direction. The Finnish Expert Panel on Sustainable Development has now published recommendations that focus more closely on what these interlinkages mean in the Finnish context and what actions need to be taken.
Six paths towards sustainability: a toolkit to promote a systemic transformation towards sustainable development in Finland
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Approaches to Transition

This latest paper by the Irish National Economic and Social Council (NESC) is part of the Councils 'work on transitions and looks in particular at how transitions are approached elsewhere and the range of perspectives at play. The paper reviews the practical tools and conceptual approaches being used to support transition, with particular focus on international experience in  managing downside risks that disproportionately affect specific cohorts of workers or communities. It provides  an improved understanding of the practical ways and strategies that support and build resilience for those most challenged by Ireland’s low-carbon and digital transitions.
Approaches to Transition
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Known paths and new tracks to 70% reduction

By 2030, Denmark has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% compared to the level in 1990. The 70% target corresponds to what is needed if Denmark is to contribute to limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement on the new Climate Act emphasises the political priority for Denmark to work actively to meet this target. One of the most important tasks of the Danish Council on Climate Change in regards to the new Climate Act is to advise the government, on how Denmark can best meet its national climate targets and international climate commitments. For this reason, in the years to come, the Danish Council on Climate Change will focus on how Denmark can achieve the 70% target in 2030. This report is the first step in that process.
Known paths and new tracks to 70% reduction
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A European Way to our Common Digital Future

Germany should build upon the Green Deal announced by EU Commission President-designate Ms. von der Leyen and work towards a close integration of digital change and sustainability. To this end the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) presents cornerstones of a European way to a common digital future. In its Policy Paper, WBGU argues that particularly during its presidency of the Council of the EU in 2020, Germany’s Federal Government should work towards a close integration of digital change and the Transformation towards Sustainability. The new EU Parliament and the new European Commission should also pursue this goal, according to WBGU. In the Policy Paper, WBGU presents seven recommendations: 1) Integrate the opportunities and risks of digitalization into EU sustainability policy; 2) Actively shape digital policy in line with sustainability goals; 3) Involve the private sector more in the provision of data; 4) Develop and apply artificial intelligence in a sustainable way; 5) Ensure access to digital commons and basic services through public-service information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures; 6) Gear EU research policy and promotion of innovations consistently towards sustainability goals, and 7) European digitalization model as a priority in foreign policy.
A European Way to our Common Digital Future
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