Latest publication: 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. This paper should be read alongside Council Report No. 149. Read More

One pandemic, numerous lessons and 17 goals that we must not put in lockdown

In a response to the Covid19 crisis that sweep the world, several EEAC member bodies drafted statements or posted blogs. For example, the Luxembourg High Council for Sustainable Development published a statement (FR) in mid-May.  The statement addresses the Government of Luxembourg, and urges to draw lessons from and respond to the Covid-19 crisis and its aftermath. The Council  stresses that no country will be able to emerge from this crisis alone. In the context of Europe Day on 9 May, the Council thus joined the initiative of the EEAC Network, by reiterating the consensus that the pandemic reinforces the need to actively pursue the implementation of the Green Pact for Europe (Green Deal) and Agenda 2030.

Also the Irish National Economic and Social Council are undertaking research to contribute to Ireland’s policy response to Covid19. The Council dedicated a special area on their website where research reports are published. This research work, in normal circumstances, would be used to produce NESC reports, which would be published following detailed deliberation by the Council. By putting it in the public domain earlier, it is hoped this research can help those now working on the response to Covid-19. Learn more

The Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia earlier released a statement, entitled ‘One pandemic, numerous lessons and 17 goals that we must not put in lockdown’. In this statement the Council argues that the Covid19 pandemic force us to reinterpret the world and the way we live, and it stresses the need for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the importance to act.

The Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development posted a blog based on the statement issued by the Expert Panel to the Parliament’s Committee for the Future on 25 March 2020 regarding the European Green Deal and the implications of the Covid19 crisis. In the blog, entitled ‘Coronavirus fostering the implementation of the European Green Deal and boosting sustainability transformation’ the Expert Panel touches upon the expected consequences of Covid19 for the European Green Deal and describes how the sustainability transformation should rise from the ashes of the crisis.


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)


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,, 00 31 (0)6 5287 4404).

The 28th EEAC Annual Conference in the context of Covid19

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the Irish National Economic and Social Council and the European network of advisory councils on environment and sustainable development (EEAC Network) had planned to hold its Annual Conference in Dublin on the 29th October 2020, ‘Delivering a Just Transition for All: Principles, Policies and Practice.’

The crisis has made this conference more important.  The public health crisis is transforming economies, societies, and the environment in ways that cannot yet be fully understood.  In the face of what is unprecedented change and uncertainty the organizers believe that Just Transition, can and indeed must, provide guidance and practical support to policy makers across Europe. Read More

Now available in English: A Framework for Danish climate policy

A majority of the Danish Parliament (Folketing) has decided that Denmark had to have a new climate act. The aim of such new climate act was to support and steer the Danish transition towards a climate neutral society by the middle of this century. Following this ambition, the Danish Council on Climate Change published a study entitled A Framework for Danish climate policy – input for a new Danish climate act with global perspectives.

The report examines the need for national climate policy goals as well as whether these targets can be considered as being consistent with The Paris Agreement. When Denmark adopted its new climate action on December 6th it appeared that the act coincided with many of the recommendations given by the Danish Council on Climate Change in their report.

Now, the report is available in English with the clear aim to make the observations, analyses and recommendations available for interested parties beyond Denmark.  Click Here to read the report in English

Latest publication: Addressing Employment Vulnerability as Part of a Just Transition

How do you manage a transition to a fundamentally new economic future? This question had been the focus of work at the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) in the months and weeks before Covid-19. The Council’s work focused on how to manage the transition associated with climate change and digital automation.  These challenges will endure beyond the current crisis and the Council have identified recommendations which will help Ireland address these and embrace the significant the opportunities.

Click Here to read the report, entitled Addressing Employment Vulnerability as Part of a Just Transition in Ireland, which the Council has published

Latest publication: What steps would be necessary to ensure a safer handling of hazardous substances?

Over the course of several decades, government policy successfully reduced the occurrence of hazardous substances in the physical environment, but of late this development is stagnating. The number of hazardous substances is increasing, as is the number of products that contain them. As a result, these substances are accumulating in the physical environment, giving rise to new risks and incidents.

in it’s report the Dutch Council for the environment and infrastructure (Rli) argues that current policies on hazardous substances are not sufficient to adequately control the risks to people and the physical environment. The use and number of hazardous substances is increasing, as is the reuse of products containing such substances. New policy is needed if we are to get a grip on hazardous substances.

Furthermore, the Rli makes 10 recommendations to effectuate a better grip on the dispersion of substances within the environment, reduce the adverse effects of cumulative exposure and move towards a safe circular economy by 2050. The recommendations are partly aimed at involving social parties more actively in assessing the usefulness and necessity of chemical substances. This requires greater transparency. Knowing which substances are in which products and what risks are involved is crucial to achieve safe closed-loop systems.

Click Here to read to report, entitled ‘A grip on hazardous substances’