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EEAC Annual Conference 2019: Registration is open

The ambition to live well within the boundaries of our planet is an increasingly deep-rooted desire among a growing number of Europeans. Thousands of students are dedicating themselves to expressing serious concerns about the ecological crisis and climate change, and these concerns are clearly shared broadly by other participants in society. And concerned citizens are not alone. Their outcry is publicly supported by a vast group of scientists from across the globe. The support of citizens, scientists, entrepreneurs and organized civil society will be essential for embarking on an unprecedented journey of systemic transformation. And this is a journey that the European Union must undertake in order to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

This societal support should be leveraged to create new partnerships and alliances. Through partnerships we achieve more: more impact, greater sustainability, increased value to all. This is why, at the 27th EEAC Annual Conference partnerships for sustainable development (SDG 17) will be the main lens through which we will engage with challenges such as the energy transition, fresh water, and the preservation and sustainable use of our seas and oceans.

To a large extent Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Water), 7 (Energy) and 14 (Oceans) address regional and global issues that are crucial to achieving well-being and economic prosperity for EU citizens. We face multiple and complex challenges with regard to water, energy and oceans, not only in the European Union and its Member States but globally. It is for this reason that the National Council on the Environment and for Sustainable Development in Portugal (CNADS) has put these three themes at center stage for the 27th EEAC Annual Conference. Read More

Please click Here to register your attendance. Click Here to consult the tentative external programme. The internal EEAC-Programme can be consulted Here. A list of hotels conveniently located for the conference venue can be found Here.

Sustainable development can form a new social contract for the 21st century

Belgium’s Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD) has prepared a set of recommendations for the federal government that will take office after the elections, which took place on the 26th of May 2019. The council expects a greater ambition for a coherent sustainable development policy that can respond to the major societal challenges .

François de Donnea (chairman of the FRDO) stated that: “Sustainable development can form a new social contract for the 21st century. A contract that at the same time guarantees economic prosperity and also ensures fair and sustainable well-being, all while respecting the ecological limits of the planet. We expect a clear vision and concrete actions from the new federal government that can give a new impulse to sustainable development policy.”

The council’s report include recommendations with regard to for example climate change adaptation and mitigation; the energy transition towards a low carbon economy; air quality; mobility; fiscal policies and biodiversity. Read More (Original texts are in French)

Latest publication: Converging national and regional challenges

The Netherlands must transition to sustainability. Over the coming decades energy supply, food systems and the economy will be radically transformed. The Netherlands will also have to adapt to the changing climate. All tiers of government are working on these four development agendas, but their implementation comes together in the regions. Here there are overlaps, common interests and conflicts, not only among the agendas themselves but also with specific regional challenges. The Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure has explored what this means for making the transition to sustainability in the Netherlands by examining the case of the Southwest Delta region. Read More

Latest publication: Climate-Change Policy: Getting the Process Right


There is a growing consensus that ambitious action is needed if we are to stop climate change. Ireland is ready to do more as evident from the efforts of our children and young people, as well as the Oireachtas Joint Committee’s report and ongoing work to produce an all-of-Government plan. To safeguard our future, protect coming generations, achieve a just transition and meet international obligations, actions have to urgently and continuously deliver results. The report by the Irish National Economic and Social Council focuses on how to combine an ambitious long-term climate change mission with an urgent and active policy process that can discover, try out and support practical actions that reduce carbon emissions. Read More

Sustainable Finance: The German Sustainability Code as a blueprint for other countries?

Following the joined Brussels seminar ‘Sustainable Finance: better safe than sorry‘ EEAC Member Councils continued their exchange on Sustainable Finance, this time within the framework of the Athens Sustainability Outlook 2019. Several councils gathered with experts from different European countries representing different stakeholder groups, -government, business, academia and opinion leaders in Athens on 4 and 5 April 2019. On behalf of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) Yvonne Zwick gave a keynote (Speech text). In addition, also Nathalie Boucquey (Speech text) of the Federal Council for Sustainable Development Belgium (FRDO-CFDD) addressed the audience.

Thematically the discussions in Athens focused in particular on sustainable finance and the reporting of companies’ non-financial performance. “We talked about other countries’ interest in establishing an instrument similar to the Sustainability Code in Germany,” commented Yvonne Zwick, who also leads the German Code’s office. Some three years ago, following a two-year development process, Greece became the first country in Europe to introduce its own Sustainability Code based on the German example. At the Athens conference Turkey announced that it is about to establish a national Sustainability Code as well.  This Turkish Sustainability Code, the result of a cooperation between the German Sustainability Code by RNE and the Turkish Center for Sustainable Production Research and Design (SÜRATAM), will soon be implemented.

The partnership between the Code and SÜRATAM shows that the contents of the Code are cross-border relevant and applicable. A look at the widely varying standards of sustainability reporting and the growing interest in standardization underlines that an instrument such as the Code, which focuses on materiality, commitment and transparency, can offer a good and feasible option to internationally promote sustainable business practices. Commenting on the announcement by Turkey, Yvonne Zwick, noted: “The team in Turkey is laying the foundation to kick start the disclosure of sustainability efforts from companies of all sizes in Turkey. We are delighted to witness the announcement of the Turkish Sustainability Code and welcome them to the Code family.”

 

 

Open SDGclub.Berlin ’19: a call for action

At the invitation of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), around sixty sustainability practitioners from over thirty countries discussed deficits in implementing the 2030 Agenda worldwide. Several EEAC members also attended the three-day conference. Besides a meeting document (soon to be released), participants in the Open SDGclub.Berlin meeting drafted a call for action calling on leaders to increase their commitment, to strengthen the role of the United Nations’ High Level Political Forum (UN HLPF), and to advance multi-stakeholder approaches for sustainable development.

 

 

a call for action

Latest Council Publications: National Energy and Climate Plans

Belgium’s Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD) and the Portuguese National Council for Environment and Sustainable Development (CNADS) both issued papers reflecting on their countries’ draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). According to the energy union and climate action rules, which entered into force on 24 December 2018, EU Member States are required to develop integrated NECPs. The NECPs should cover the five dimensions of the energy union for the period 2021 to 2030 (and every subsequent ten-year period) based on a common template. Like the other EU Member States, Belgium and Portugal must submit their final plans to the European Commission by 31 December 2019. Read more (Note: the FRDO-CFDD advisory paper is available in Dutch and French, the CNADS paper is available in Portuguese.)

The Open SDGclub.Berlin ’19

At the invitation of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), around sixty sustainability practitioners from over thirty countries discussed deficits in implementing the 2030 Agenda worldwide. Several EEAC members also attended the three-day conference. Besides a meeting document (soon to be released), participants in the Open SDGclub.Berlin meeting drafted a call for action calling on leaders to increase their commitment, to strengthen the role of the United Nations’ High Level Political Forum (UN HLPF), and to advance multi-stakeholder approaches for sustainable development.

UN Global Festival of Action

The EEAC Network and GIZ co-organised an interactive workshop at the United Nations Global Festival of Action 2019 focusing on multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs). More than 70 participants from all over the globe raised and debated such questions as How can we actually make partnerships work? and When is forming partnerships a suitable approach, and when not?

EEAC and GIZ succeeded in organizing a workshop which allowed participants to share practical experience, knowledge and tips, to make new connections, to create opportunities for new partnerships and to improve existing ones. Both organizations stressed that the supportive nature of the session made it possible to share and discuss not only best practices but also ‘failures’.

This year’s Global Festival of Action also provided a dynamic and interactive setting for showcasing the latest innovations, tools and approaches to SDG advocacy and SDG action. It brought together leaders in national and local government, international organisations, and civil society as well as activists, young advocates and representatives of the creative industry and private sector, all seeking to scale up the impact of their work and strategise joint actions while motivating new organisations and individuals to join the movement and take action on the SDGs. Read More

EEAC board members visit Danish 2030 Panel

EEAC Network’s board members Arnau Queralt and Ron Hillebrand paid a visit to the Danish 2030 Panel in Copenhagen on Friday 26 April 2019. The 2030 Panel is the multi stakeholder advisory board to the Danish Parliament’s all-party group on the SDGs, the so called 2030 Network.

The EEAC board members and members of the 2030 Panel discussed the issue of international cooperation between advisory bodies to governments and parliaments in the field of Sustainable development. Furthermore, they discussed the Panel’s first baseline report for monitoring the achievement of the SDGs in Denmark.

The 2030 Network and 2030 Panel

In March 2017, the All-Party Group on the SDGs – the 2030-Network – was created in the Danish Parliament. The 2030-Network does not have the power to take formal decisions in the law-making process but serves instead to raise awareness and promote the 17 sustainable development goals as a Danish priority and monitor the implementation of the 2030 agenda on a national and international level.

The 2030-Panel has been appointed by the All-party Group and consists of 22 people representing the private sector, civil society, unions, the consumers, academia, municipalities and other sectors in the Danish society. The different competencies and interests represented in the board makes the panel allegeable to support the Group’s work with the implementation and realisation of the SDGs through dialogue, recommendations, and bringing forth evidence-based analysis and reports.

Danish baseline report

As a result, the 2030-Panel presented the first out of 17 baseslines for monitoring the achievement of the goals in Denmark. The baseline was on SDG 11 and was received by the Parliamentarians from the 2030-Network at a meeting between the two organs, where also the Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark participated. Click here to read the latest Baseline report by the 2030 Panel.