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.
An online seminar was organized on September 18th 2020, to discuss financing the green transition in times of economic recovery. The event was a joint initiative of the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD) and the European Commission, in collaboration with the European network of Advisory Councils on Climate Change, the Environment and Sustainable Development (EEAC Network), the European Investment Bank and the Belgian regional sustainable development councils.
The Covid19 has shaken Europe and the world to its core. To help repair the economic and social damage, kick-start European recovery, and protect and create jobs, the European Commission has proposed a major recovery plan for Europe, Next Generation EU. Reforms as well as significant investments, both from the private and public sector, are at the heart of this plan, which builds on Europe’s growth strategy, the European Green Deal, to a more sustainable, digital, fair and resilient Europe.
What was addressed
The EU has already taken several initiatives to facilitate the financing of the green transition. We took stock of these.
The following question was center staged:
· 18 September: What are the EU initiatives to facilitate green transition financing in times of economic recovery?
Speakers included: Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (UCL), Arnau Queralt-Bassa (EEAC), Veerle Nuyts (EU Commission), Emmanuel Buttin (EU Commission), Thomas Verheye (EU Commission), Michèle Lacroix (EFRAG), Philippe Lamberts (MEP), Sirpa Pietikäinen (MEP), Pierre-Emmanuel Noël (EIB), Xavier Vanden Bosch (EU Commission), Yelter Bollen (Arbeid en Milieu, Fairfin), Pierre Vanheuverzwijn (Pacte national d’investissements stratégiques), Agnès Giner Lloret (Sowalfin), Pierre Hermant (Finance Brussels), Johan Reynaert (PMV), Jan Verheeke (Minaraad).
The session outcome document is available here
The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) published its Environmental Report, entitled: “Towards an ambitious environmental policy in Germany and Europe” in of May 2020. With this Environmental Report, the SRU is addressing environmental policy topics that require urgent action. These topics include: climate policy, the circular economy, water protection, sustainable neighbourhood development, noise regulation, urban mobility and the future of EU environmental policy.
In a sequence of two online sessions, SRU experts presented and discussed with EEAC colleagues:
1. The future of EU environmental policies and climate policy
2. Circular economy and urban mobility.
The first online session was held on June 5th, World Environment Day. The second session took take place on Tuesday September 1st.
The PowerPoint slides accompanying the presentations given on September 1st can be found here:
Active and environmentally friendly urban mobility: enabling change
Reducing traffic noise to improve health and quality of life
Circular Economy: From Rhetoric to Practice
The meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) in 2020 was held from Tuesday, 7 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020. This included the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 14 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020. The theme was “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development’.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adjustments to the format and programme of HLPF 2020 were made. All meetings were held virtually, including all side and special events. In the light of this unprecedented situation, Dr. Beisheim (SWP) provided the EEAC member councils with her insights on the aim of this year’s HLPF, and answered questions about the effectiveness of the forum as well as about the possible impact of this year’s HLPF on Sustainable Development policies at European and national level. Read More
Germany started its Presidency of the Council of the European Union on July 1st 2020. Rarely have there been so many sustainability related topics on the agenda – plus the opportunity to put the billions of euros earmarked for the coronavirus recovery to transformative use. Therefore, expectations seem high.
However, due to the Covid19 crisis Germany will not be able to execute its previously stipulated Presidency agenda. This raises the question what changes the Covid19 crisis might bring to the agenda, and what the possible risks and opportunities of these changes are. Furthermore, the focus will be on the Presidency’s ambitions regarding issues such as climate change, digitalization, environmental policies and the complex Multi Annual Financial Framework negotiations.
Karsten Sach, Director General International and European Policy at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety provided insight into the Presidency’s agenda during an EEAC exclusive policy briefing. The briefing aimed to inform EEAC members about the focus of the German Presidency of the European Council, with special emphasis on issues related to climate change and environmental and sustainable development policies.
Climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of the water needed to meet basic human needs. This will inevitably increase risks in energy production, food security, human health, economic development and poverty reduction, and consequently represents a serious threat to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, both climate change and the human responses to it will add to the existing pressures on water systems and ecosystems. For this reason, the EEAC Working Group on Fresh Water Affairs dedicated an online session to the challenges of water quantity governance in the context of climate change. Read More