The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), released the English version of its report entitled ‘Circular economy: Putting ideas into practice’. The report discusses what regulatory and economic tools are needed to promote a circular economy.
In its report the SRU furthermore underlines that the circular economy is seen as a solution to resource scarcity and a driver of employment and welfare in Europe and Germany. In reality, however, the use of primary raw materials continues to increase. The fact is that currently only a small part of the material demand is covered in a circular way, as waste management lags behind the requirements of the circular economy, the SRU argues.
People and markets need a product policy that combines a good standard of living with lower demand for raw materials. The goal of reducing material flows must therefore be anchored in policy. Products should be designed to be compatible with the circular economy. High-quality recycling must finally become a reality. To put ideas into practice, policymakers must adopt new measures and give them a clear ecological focus, the SRU argues. Read More
A consortium of advisory bodies – under the auspices of the National Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary (NFFT) drafted an EEAC background paper, entitled: ‘Economic instruments to enhance sustainable development’. This exploratory note was presented to the members of the EEAC Network on Tuesday January 26th 2021.
While having pledges, strategies and ambitions in place, the EU and its Member States still struggle to meet the SDGs and the related targets. This leaves Europe with a void. A void between ambitions and reality on the ground. In the EEAC explanatory note, the authors dedicate their attention to a specific issue that might play a role in this void: the use of economic instruments to enhance sustainable development. With the valuable inputs of five EEAC member bodies, the explanatory note touches upon the fundamental benefits of economic instruments to enhance sustainability.
A consortium of EEAC member councils discussed possible exchange on the overarching theme of ecosystem services. Since quite a few EEAC members work on topics that can be brought together under the heading “ecosystem services”: 1. food production (supply services); 2. biodiversity (support services) and 3. freshwater (supply and regulatory services), this first exchange took place . The analogy in the councils’ activities is their focus on protecting and improving ecosystems in order to ensure ecosystem services in a sustainable way. Following the meeting, a draft agenda for exchange and cooperation will be presented and further discussed.
On January 1st 2021, the Romanian Council for Sustainable Development joined the EEAC Network.
In his letter welcoming the council, EEAC Chairman Arnau Queralt-Bassa stated that he is truly glad to welcome the Romanian council in the EEAC Network, and that he looks forward to exchange and informed deliberation with the members and staff of the council, in order to mutually strengthen the advice that councils give to governments and parliaments.
The Romanian Council for Sustainable Development is welcomed as the eighteenth member of the EEAC Network. The list with all members can be consulted here
The Danish Council on Climate Change published an English summary of their latest report entitled ‘Carbon rich peat soils’.
The open land in Denmark is dominated by agricultural production. More than half – roughly 60 percent of the landscape – is cultivated, which leads to annual greenhouse gas emissions of around 9 million tons CO2- equivalents (hereafter CO2e). But there are large differences across Danish agricultural soils and their effect on the climate.
The majority consists of mineral soils with low carbon contents, which do not emit very much CO2 when cultivated. Just under 7 percent of the cultivated area consists of carbon rich peat soils. Peat soils are originally formed in wetlands like bogs and wet meadows and have a high content of carbon from old plant residues. When peat soils are oxygenated by drainage and plowing, the carbon rots and emits gases, primarily as CO2. In principle, this corresponds to the burning of fossil fuels although it happens more slowly. Hence, draining of peat soils contributes to increasing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases thereby intensifying global warming.
In this context the Council published a report that includes proposals for a new model for effective regulation and rewetting of Danish carbon rich peat soils. Read More