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 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

The Federal Government’s sustainable finance strategy must break new ground

The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) produced a recommendation in which the council welcomed the Federal Government’s intention to produce a sustainable finance strategy. In its opinion RNE introduced several matters where the Federal Government and market players need to take action to enhance sustainable finance in Germany. The RNE sets out three types of action the Federal Government should take. The first type of action focusses on what the government can do itself and includes recommendations to establish sustainability as a budgetary principle; to make German Bunds sustainable bonds; to invest state assets sustainably and to consistently align development finance with sustainability criteria. The second type of action refers to nudging. The recommendation calls upon the Federal Government to integrate sustainability incentives into instruments which promote foreign trade. The third type of action is related to the regulatory role of the Federal Government. There RNE recommends to introduce and establish sustainability as a fiduciary duty; to actively help shape financial market regulations in the interests of sustainability; and to ensure that the European Central Bank (ECB) upholds the sustainability principle as well. Market players should, according to RNE, improve the information basis and ratings in the context of sustainability. Furthermore, these parties should formulate expectations for corporate reporting and should build up social acceptance and participation in an inclusive financial sector for sustainable development. This can be reached by Expanding financial literacy and continuing professional development to include sustainability issues, RNE argues. Special attention was paid to sectors such as the property industry and investment. First of all, RNE recommends that sustainable finance must set standards in the property industry and secondly, the council argues that a sustainable financial industry should invest (more) in sustainable companies.

The Federal Government’s sustainable finance strategy must break new ground

Desirable Tourism: Capitalising on Opportunities in the Living Environment

The number of tourists in the Netherlands has grown exponentially in the past ten years and will continue to do so in the years to come. Tourism now generates as much revenue as the construction sector and more than double that of agriculture. The rising pressure of tourism is also causing ever more problems and inconvenience, however, a situation that is harmful to the living environment and to local communities and that will, in the long term, be detrimental to the sector itself. In this advisory report, the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure considers how balanced growth in inbound and domestic tourism can be managed in the Netherlands, with the economy, local communities and the living environment being viewed as interacting elements.

Desirable Tourism: Capitalising on Opportunities in the Living Environment

CNADS’ Stance on the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (NECPs)

The National Portuguese Council for Environment and Sustainable Development (CNADS) created a Working Group (WG) with the objective of elaborating a Stance on the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (NECPs). This Stance briefly analyses the main lines of reflection and action advanced by the NECPs and includes 1. An elaboration process of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan; 2. An analysis of its general objectives and issues; 3. a characterisation of the current situation of the national energy sector and defined objectives for 2020; 4. A strategy for 2030; and touches upon the issue of energy poverty. The CADS NECP Working Group was coordinated by Counsellor João Guerreiro and included Counsellors Luísa Schmidt, Eugénio Sequeira, Jaime Braga, João Joanaz de Melo, José Guerreiro dos Santos and Nuno Ribeiro da Silva.

CNADS’ Stance on the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (NECPs)

Democratic government within environmental limits – on the legitimization of environmental policy

Progressive environmental degradation is a cause for deep concern. Environmental policy thus finds itself in a dilemma: on the one hand, it has to raise its level of ambition and its effectiveness. In its report, the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) would like to show that environmental policy can draw on strong scientific, legal, social and economic sources of legitimization. The report also addresses the question of how existing political institutions, processes and instruments can be improved to give greater priority to vital ecological needs.

Democratic government within environmental limits – on the legitimization of environmental policy

Urban Structure, Spatial Planning and Climate Emissions

The secretariat of the National Economic and Social Council (Ireland) published a paper, entitled ‘Urban Structure, Spatial Planning and Climate Emissions’. The paper examines the relationship between urban structure, spatial planning and climate emissions, in particular transport-related emissions. The paper focuses in particular on the some of the key literature that has sought to analysis this relationship. The paper also considers the case for developing new approaches to evaluating the impact of urban structure and spatial planning on supporting sustainable development and reducing transport-related emissions. The paper concludes with a focus on the enabling role of urban structure with regards to sustainable mobility.

Urban Structure, Spatial Planning and Climate Emissions

Proposal on the protection of natural heritage and the sustainable use of natural resources

The Hungarian National Council for Sustainable Development (NFFT) urges to promote social agreement in order to protect natural resources and their services essential for human existence and to maintain social prosperity thus serving the public good. This proposal exclusively focuses on the natural, environmental aspects of the sustainability shift but we would like to stress that the centre point of the National Framework Strategy on Sustainable Development is people and that the Council has always emphasized the crucial importance of the human and social dimension of sustainable development including the significance of common values and communities based on solidarity and love, in the transition to sustainability. Read the whole publication through the link below.

Proposal on the protection of natural heritage and the sustainable use of natural resources