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.
Hydrogen can play a role in making the economy more sustainable in two ways: as an energy carrier, and as a feed stock for industry. The Dutch Climate Agreement, Climate Plan and various sector-specific scenarios all assign an important role to hydrogen. Hydrogen is also receiving considerable attention internationally, as illustrated by the many strategies, vision documents, reports and investments by governments and global companies. Hydrogen, in other words, has potential.
There are however multiple challenges and possible infringing interests when it comes to the use of hydrogen in the future. In this context the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) produced its report aiming to answer the question: What is a realistic prospect for hydrogen as a feed stock and/or energy carrier in a sustainable economy, and what role should the (Dutch) national government and other parties play in that regard? During an online presentation, Folmer de Haan (Deputy Director Rli) introduced the advice and its finding and engaged in collegial exchange. Read More
The Minister and the Secretary General of the Ministry for Environment and Climate Action of Portugal provided an EEAC-exclusive policy briefing on the agenda of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The member councils of the EEAC met with the Minister and the Secretary General online on Februari 17th 2021.
Portugal took over the Presidency of the European Council on January 1st 2021. The Portuguese Presidency organized its programme around five main pillars: A) Resilient Europe; B) Social Europe; C) Green Europe; E) Digital Europe; and F) Global Europe. In the e-presentation the ‘Green Europe’ pillar was centre-staged.
The Presidency has an ambitious agenda, including the finalization of the EU climate law, approval of the EU’s Circular Economy Strategy and a successful wrap-up of the negotiations on the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. A packed Presidency agenda that needs to be delivered amidst the challenges of the covid19-pandemic.
The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) presented its recent publication, entitled: ‘Rethinking Land in the Anthropocene: from Separation to Integration’ to the colleagues of the EEAC Network. The session took place on February 11th . During the hour-long session, Jan Siegmeier and Susanne Neubert (WBGU) presented the findings and recommendations of the report, and engaged in collegial exchange. 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.
The EEAC Network together with the Think Tank of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and the TUM Sustainability Task Force organized a high-level exchange on the role digitalization can play in meeting climate neutrality and sustainability target. In addition the session focused on how recent political developments, and in particular the outcome of the US election, may impact on implementation of the European Green Deal. The session took place on November 17th 2020.