The Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) launched a survey in partnership with GlobeScan, , The EEAC Network and seven other organizations, asking 300 sustainability experts about their views on the progress made in implementing the European Green Deal. The survey was concluded early 2021. Today – April 29th – IEEP and GlobeScan launched the report written based on the findings of the survey. The report identifies the challenges to the European Green Deal’s implementation and provides policy recommendations for addressing them.
- The lack of commitment by the Member States is seen as the biggest barrier to the Green Deal Implementation (33% of respondents rank it within the top two barriers), followed by inadequate governance mechanisms (25% of respondents) and unequal progress across the EU Member States (24% of respondents).
- The greatest amount of progress made is in ‘increasing the EU’s climate ambition for 2030 and 2050’ (37% see progress made), followed by ‘supplying clean, affordable, and secure energy’ (24% of respondents). Only 13% say that adequate progress has been made on preserving and restoring biodiversity; and 14% on sustainable and healthy agriculture.
- Moving forward, respondents recommend focusing action on 3 pillars of the Green Deal: mobilizing industry for a clean and circular economy, preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity and fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food systems.
Top three recommendations
- Ensure that the award and use of EU recovery funds are focused on low-carbon and environmental projects.
- Set an absolute reduction target in material footprint consumption as part of the Circular Economy Action plan (CEAP) and mainstream a circular economy approach in the EU industrial strategy.\
- Align the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform with the ‘farm to fork’ strategy and boost investment in nature-based solutions to preserve biodiversity.
Digital technology and data use are changing our society in fundamental ways. These changes are having a major impact on the sustainability of our living environment. Although digitalisation and sustainability are inextricably connected, government policy fails to recognise this connection. In its advisory report about digitalisation and the transition towards a sustainable society, the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) argues, among others, that the national government must intervene much more actively and utilise the advantages the digital world offers to further the green transformation. Read More
There is no single blueprint for cities on how to develop ocio-economic, environmental and climate resilience strategies, designed to adapt to stresses and shocks. However, a new research paper published by the Irish National Economic and Social Council, entiteled ‘Building Long Term Resilient and Sustainable Cities” explores the conditions required to enable cities to build resilience. The research paper also looks at actions needed to make cities resilient and liveable places, by prioritising the inter-relationship between people and place, especially the natural environment. Read More
The OECD and EEAC Network organized a joint webinar on the findings from the OECD’s Making Better Policies for Food Systems report. The report brings together decades of OECD research and policy recommendations into a coherent view on food systems to support policy makers around the world develop better policies for food systems. Following a presentation on the report by the authors, an assessment of the report and possible policy implications from the perspective of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils Network was shared. Experts from the German Advisory Council on Global Change, the Dutch Council on the Environment and Infrastructure and the Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia contributed. Following the presentation and reflections, interaction on the performance of the global food system followed. Participants also discussed the design of coherent policies, factors complicating the task of achieving better policies and key priorities for food system policy approaches. You can view the session recordings here.
Upon the invitation of EU institutions, a group of governmental and parliamentary advisory councils on climate change, the environment and sustainable development shared their insights on the mandate, tasks, composition and governance of a future European Climate Change Council (ECCC).
The insights of the advisory councils were gathered in a so called addendum. This addendum followed a joint letter previously sent to the EU co-legislators on the added value of a future ECCC. Arnau Queralt-Bassa – chairman of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) Network – underlined that the addendum truly touches upon the matters beyond the added value of a European advisory body on Climate Change.
Asked about the mandate, Arnau Queralt-Bassa stated that ‘a future ECCC first and foremost should be mandated to provide evidence-based and integrated policy advice based on the best available scientific knowledge’. In order to do so, Arnau Queralt-Bassa continued, ‘the latest scientific findings of the IPCC and relevant European institutions and agencies should of course be utilized’. A future ECCC should also provide European institutions with a regular and independent assessment of progress on the achievement of GHG emission reduction targets at EU level, and an assessment of the progress made on the implementation of the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, Queralt-Bassa continued.
In its addendum, the consortium of advisory councils also underlined the importance of a future ECCC to be interdisciplinary, diverse and gender balanced in terms of its composition. But it is not sufficient to ensure just that, Queralt-Bassa warned. For the legitimacy of a future ECCC it is of the utmost importance that its members will be appointed following a fully transparent selection process, underpinned by clear criteria. Of equal importance is that a future ECCC and its members will be completely independent of the institutions they advise. This should be enshrined in law.
Arnau Queralt-Bassa concluded by reiterating the advisory councils’ willingness to cooperate with colleagues of a future ECCC, and by expressing his hope that the ongoing trilogue negotiations will provide the EU with both truly ambitious climate policies and targets, and the institutions to support these policies and targets.