The Chair of the EEAC Network together with two experts met today with European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans to discuss the need to make food systems in Europe more sustainable.
During the exchange, the findings and recommendations of the EEAC Position Paper ‘Towards a sustainable food system’ were discussed, and the position paper was presented to the Commissioner.
A consortium of advisory councils and their members worked together during the recent past to formulate the position paper, which aims to feed the debate on sustainable food systems and contribute to the creation of a legislative framework for a sustainable food system at EU level.
Read the EEAC Position Paper ‘Towards a sustainable food system a position paper on the framework law’ here
The EEAC Network, together with the colleagues of ESDN, has established recurring exchange cycles with delegates from the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda and delegates from the European Commission. These exchanges aim to support inter-collegial exchange on Europe’s sustainability challenges. During the latest exchange in Brussels on November 18th, Delegates from the different organizations discussed the Voluntary Review that the EU will provide to next year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum, the work of the Council Working Party on the 2030 Agenda and the upcoming global SDG Summit.
The European food system does not deliver sustainable diets, with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to a healthy life for present and future generations. To make the system more resilient, an EU Framework Law on Sustainable Food Systems should foster human and planetary health in a coherent and balanced approach between an agricultural supply policy, environmental policy and food (consumption) policy. A policy on a sustainable food system should direct the strong innovation capacity of actors away from ever lower food prices towards more sustainable farming, food processing and food consumption. However, a just transition is key: to the extent that healthy diets are not affordable for consumers compensation should be given by changes in minimum wages, social security or income taxes. This advice is given by a consortium of national advisory councils on environment and sustainable development, in an EEAC Network Position Paper on the framework law. Read More
Today ( 18 October 2022) the Chairman of the EEAC Working Group on Ecosystem Services published a summary of the observations, insights and recommendations that were discussed in the context of the upcoming CBD COP15 by experts that are part of advisory councils on the environment and sustainable development. The experts from seven different advisory councils met online twice and shared their insights during several written rounds.
As a starting point, the experts took note of the state of negotiations on the text of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. They focused their exchange on the content of some crucial targets in the negotiation text and on the relationship between those targets.
The experts make a plea to better integrate biodiversity in 1) all spaces, and 2) within all domains. Both tasks must be properly anchored in the system of targets of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, so as to have a ‘spinal role’ for the other targets in the text. Experts further underline that the European Union should opt for a realistic, fair and results-driven approach in the run up to and during CBD COP15 itself. In this process, the EU’s active and ambitious stance in the negotiation process needs to be reinforced, by also explicitly reflecting critically on the actions of the EU and its Member States in the context of biodiversity, they argue. Read More
The EEACNetwork, together with the Belgian Federal Council for Sustainable Development (FRDO-CFDD), the German Advisory Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), and the Department of Sustainable Development from Romania organised a joint webinar “Implementing the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive: Opportunities and Challenges”. The webinar took place on October 13th.
The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive
A provisional political agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) has been reached at EU level. By implementing the CSRD, the EU intends to make ambitious but standardised and accessible sustainability reporting mandatory for more than 50,000 companies across EU Member States. After the official adoption of the CSRD at EU level (end of 2022), EU Member States will have eighteen months to integrate the CSRD into national law. The way in which Member States implement the Directive is expected to influence the extent to which the objectives of this European proposal are actually achieved.
During the webinar a panel of high level experts addressed the following issues: 1) Which aspects need to be taken into account to ensure that the ambitious goals of the CSRD can actually be achieved? 2) What leeway do the Member States have in the implementation process, and how big a risk is this? And 3) How can we learn from the implementation of the CSRD’s predecessor, the Non-Financial Reporting Directive?
The webinar provided guidance and recommendations for action in the final phase of the implementation of the CSRD, so that the transformative potential of the new Directive can be fully achieved.
We were pleased to have contributions from a variety of international policy makers, including: Tom Dodd, European Commission, DG FISMA, Karen Hofmans, the Federal Public Service Economy (Belgium), Jan Witzmann, the Federal Ministry of Justice (Germany), and László Borbély, State Councilor, the Romanian Prime Minister’s Office – Department of Sustainable Development (Romania).
A new network of over 72 organizations from 12 countries was activated during a convening in Amsterdam on September 26-27, 2022. Representatives are aligned around the transdisciplinary field and social movement of Planetary Health, which analyzes and addresses the impacts of human disruptions to natural systems on human health and all life on Earth. The Planetary Health European Hub consists of organizations from sectors including universities, healthcare, youth, business, civil society, and more.
Co-organized by the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA) and the EEAC Network, the new hub was conceived to focus on the policy, funding, and organizational landscapes that make Europe rich in opportunities for building transformational change.
“From the European Green Deal, the Health Environment Research Agenda for Europe, to the upcoming Horizon Health 2023 Agenda, now is the time to connect the dots, build collaborations, make links within the policy community, and fund Planetary Health priorities at scale,” said Sam Myers, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance and Principle Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Members of the European Hub, came together in person and online and agreed on the Hub’s principles, developed working groups to tend to plans in research, education, policy, and movement building, shared lessons learned, built relationships, and set the framework for sustaining the Hub into the future. Read More
A group of representatives from various advisory councils met for the second time to discuss the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Council representatives took stock of the ongoing negotiations and discussed the need for integration of biodiversity policies in all spaces and domains, as well as the need for a realistic, just and result driven approach by the EU and its Member States ahead of the CBD. Insights and views shared by council representatives are to be used as input for an EEAC document that will be sent in the context of the finalization of the CDB COP15 negotiations in Montreal in December 2022.
This year, the EEAC Annual Conference entitled: ‘The Critical Decade of Action: Mobilising Sustainability Transformation in Europe’ took place in Helsinki on September 14th and 15th 2022.
The conference was hosted by Finland’s three independent science panels, the Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, the Finnish Climate Change Panel and the Finnish Nature Panel.
The two-day conference brought together experts from academia, civil society, the private sector and government to discuss the next steps for facilitating the much-needed transformation in the critical decade of action. We heared interesting keynote speeches and engaged in workshops and parallel sessions, including on the following themes:
Joining forces for sustainability transformation
Europe’s global responsibility in combating climate change
Mid-term policy actions needed against the biodiversity crisis
Representatives from the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia, the Environment and Nature Council of Flanders, the Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, the German Advisory Council on the Environment and the German Advisory Council on Global Change e-met on September 12th 2022 for a collegial exchange on the topic of Planetary Health and adjacent concepts. They informed each other about their ongoing work and discussed, among others, the relationship between the concept of Planetary Health and sustainable development, and the challenge of mainstreaming the concept of Planetary Health in policymaking. Colleagues further discussed possible synergies in their work and discussed possible next steps in exchanges among councils and between councils and external experts.
Today (Monday June 27) the EEAC Network hosted a briefing for colleagues from national and regional advisory councils on sustainable development. 30 Colleagues from 11 EU Member States were updated by Eurostat on their recently published report on progress towards the SDGs in an EU context.
In order to place the findings of the EuroStat report in the right context, three European experts shared their reflections on the state of SDG implementation in the EU. On behalf of the European Economic and Social Committee, Maria Nikolopoulou shared her views. MEP Barry Andrews also shared his reflections, taking a more political angle. Civil Society was represented by SDG Watch Europe’s coordinator Jeffery Moxom.
The briefing took place in compliance with Chatham House Rule. Open and honest collegial information sharing and exchange were the goal of the briefing.