The Federal Council for Sustainable Development in Belgium (FRDO-CFDD) together with Brussels Region Environment Council (RLBHG) published an own initiative opinion on biodiversity policy. The opinion was prepared by the “Biodiversity and Forests” and “International Relations” working groups and was approved by the FRDO-CFDD General Assembly by written procedure. The original language of this opinion is Dutch, the translation in English became available in November 2022. Read More
The EEAC Network, 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
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).
The deadline for applications was midnight CET, November 11th 2022.
How can science help to gear up the sustainability transition? How can we make sure policymakers have science-based advice available to them? Discussions at the 30th EEAC Annual Conference brought forward the importance of dialogue and cooperation in this critical decade of sustainability action. Time to move away from just talking the talk, and instead, walk the walk.
The Finnish scientific advisory councils – the Climate Change Panel, the Nature Panel and the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development – organised the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils’ Network‘s (EEAC) 30th anniversary conference from 14th to 15th September in Helsinki and online. The conference brought together European experts to discuss how to advance the sustainability transition in Europe. The two-day conference gathered 130 international experts together in autumnal Helsinki and 200 people across Europe followed the discussions online.
The theme of the conference was the Critical Decade of Action. Experts from universities, research institutes, governments and the civil service deliberated on how to advance direct discussions between scientists and policymakers to push for a systemic and fair sustainability transition.
By learning from each other and discussing together, we can bridge the gap between science and policy. Keynotes and panel discussions highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation. Decision makers were presented with a plea from scientists – implementation is needed, instead of just inspired targets and speeches. We need explicit action to pave the way for reaching our climate, biodiversity and sustainability targets, both short and long-term.
In most discussions, the conclusion was that the alarming effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity show an imminent need for a truly systemic change. The fairness of the sustainability transition must be guaranteed – giving people a say in the process is needed. At the EEAC conference we heard from for example high school students and how they are concerned for their future. In workshops we looked at how can young people be better involved in decision making processes. This kind of action and involvement is what we need in this critical decade.
Recordings of the keynote presentations are available HERE
In 2020, the Germany Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) recommended aligning Germany’s climate targets with a CO2 budget. This budget was transparently derived from the targets of the Paris climate agreement. The analysis was widely received in Germany and also an important scientific basis of Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court’s historic decision on climate policy in 2021.
In June 2022, the SRU has updated the CO2 budget calculations and addressed a number of questions that came up in public discussion in an accessible Q&A format. This paper has now been published in English language.
Our latest figures show that Germany’s remaining fair CO2 budget for a 1.5°C path expires in 2031 and that for 1.75°C in 2040 (assuming linear reduction). According to our calculation, the current German Climate Change Act corresponds to a pathway which limits global warming to less than 2°C, but significantly more than 1.5°C. Read More
As with the first edition, also this time the EEAC Network contributed to the preperations of IEEP’s EU Green Deal Barometer report. The new report reveals the scepticism of sustainability experts regarding the implementation status of the European Green Deal in the short term, but some cautious optimism post-2024. Based on insights from over 300 experts, the Green Deal Barometer provides recommendations for taking forward the implementation in the current crisis. Read More (you will be re-directed to the IEEP website).
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
Eeva Furman, Chair of the Finnish Expert Panel on Sustainable Development (Sustainability Panel) and Board member of the EEAC Network, will step down from the Panel and the EEAC Network’s board to take up her position as Secretary General of the Finnish Commission for Sustainable Development from 15 August 2022 onwards.
Nature is declining at an alarming rate in the Netherlands. According to the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli), the biodiversity crisis is as serious as the climate crisis. Robust nature is crucial for the quality of life in the Netherlands. People depend on nature for their health, for clean drinking water, for healthy food and for clean air. In its advisory report Nature-Inclusive Netherlands, the Rli calls on the Dutch Government to reverse the decline of nature and to ensure its recovery. Such efforts will only succeed, however, if the authorities commit to nature everywhere and for everyone. Read More
Today, the fourth and final episode of the podcast series Sustainability Made in Europe has been uploaded. The fourth episode focuses on the EU taxonomy, has been put online. In the podcast, the adoption of the first part of the EU taxonomy in the area of climate protection is classified politically and in terms of content by Antje Schneeweiß, managing director of the Arbeitskreis kirchlicher Investoren (AKI) and member of the Platform on Sustainable Finance, Kristina Jeromin, managing director of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany, and Alexander Bassen, RNE council member and professor of business administration at the University of Hamburg.
In the first three episodes, high-ranking experts contribute their knowledge and experience from the negotiations on the European Green Deal, the draft Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD) and the draft of the planned Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). With a mix of interviews and background information, the European Green Deal, as well as EU sustainability policy in general, is examined from different angles.
The podcast series is a joint project of the Belgian Sustainability Council (FRDO-CFDD) and the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), under the umbrella of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils Network (EEAC). Click here for the four episodes of the podcast series.