News

Welcome to the EEAC Network’s 30th anniversary conference in Helsinki on 14-15 September

We have the pleasure of inviting you to the 30th anniversary conference of the EEAC Network in Helsinki, Finland, on the 14 –15 of September 2022.

Finland’s three independent scientific advisory panels – The Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, The Finnish Climate Change Panel and The Finnish Nature Panel – are hosting the event. The theme of the conference is The Critical Decade of Action: Mobilising Sustainability Transformation in Europe.

Please consult the draft programme HERE & make sure to REGISTER or get more information on the conference webpage HERE

Advisory councils engage in joint work in the context of CBD COP15

A group of representatives from advisory councils from Belgium, Catalonia, Flanders, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal met to discuss the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Council representatives took stock of the ongoing negotiations ahead of the Nairobi (June) and Kunming (August/September) meetings.

Furthermore, council representatives discussed issues such as Target 3 (which calls on countries to ensure that at least 30% of the world’s lands and marine areas are protected for nature by 2030) financing the Global Biodiversity Framework ( lack of finance to be considered on of the main reasons for not reaching Aichi targets) and the relation between climate and biodiversity.

Insights and views shared by council representatives are to be utilized as input for an EEAC Chairman’s letter that will be sent in the context of the finalization of the CDB COP15 negotiations this summer.  Next steps are scheduled for the period June and July.

Latest publication: Towards a reliable expansion of onshore wind energy in Germany

The German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) published a short English-language summary of its statement on the expansion of onshore wind energy in Germany.

Onshore wind energy is one of the pillars of the energy transition. Germany can only reach its climate targets if onshore wind is developed much faster. However, in the last few years the expansion has almost stalled. The statement “Climate protection needs tailwind: Towards a reliable expansion of onshore wind energy” shows how challenges can be met.The most important reason for the faltering expansion of wind energy is that too few areas have been designated and secured in spatial planning. In addition, some German regions (Länder) have set distances between wind turbines and residential areas that cannot be justified in terms of protecting residents. The lack of standards in nature conservation and species protection leads to legal uncertainties. In general, the planning and approval procedures for wind turbines are error-prone and lengthy. Regions in which wind energy is used also benefit too little from the energy transition. This has an impact on local acceptance. There is also a need for change in the area of funding. Read More

New: Our podcast on the Due Diligence Directive is published

Today, the second episode of the podcast series Sustainability Made in Europe: A Policy Podcast on Finance, Reporting & Governance has been published on Spotify and Anchor.

Following the first episode, in which high-ranking experts set the scene, introducing the EU’s ambition to push the concept of sustainable finance, the focus of the second episode is on the proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). The directive is analyzed by Anna Cavazzini, Member of the European Parliament for the Greens/EFA Group. Rachel Widdis, Professor of Business and Human Rights, adds her academic perspective to the current initiative.

Two more episodes – on the EU Taxonomy and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) – will be released in the coming weeks. The podcast series is a joint project of the Belgian (FRDO-CFDD) and German (RNE) Councils for Sustainable Development under the umbrella of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils Network (EEAC), implemented and hosted by Colin Bien from Masters of Change. Read More

Advisory councils continue joint work on sustainable food systems

Following the expert meeting on sustainable food systems in Brussels on April 5th, advisory councils e-met to analyze and discuss the reflections of the stakeholders. The councils also discussed the (expected) impacts of the geopolitical developments on the food systems. Following the exchange, a updated draft text will be circulated among the advisory bodies involved in the process in May 2022. Read More

Expert hearing: Sustainable Food Systems

Today (April 5th 2022) the EEAC Working Group on Ecosystem Services organized an expert hearing on sustainable food systems. European institutions, interest groups, think tanks and NGOs reflected on a zero-draft document in which the advisory councils that are member of the EEAC Network have set out observations and recommendations on a sustainable food system in Europe. The advisory councils will take the reflections of the stakeholders and the geopolitical context into account when drafting a follow-up text. The councils will e-meet  a to discuss further steps at the start of May.

Latest publication: Status outlook, Denmark’s national climate targets & international obligations

The Danish Council on Climate Change (DCCC) launched the status outlook report 2022. The outlook centers on the Danish climate targets for 2025, 2030 and 2050.
In the outlook, the DCCC makes an assessment regarding the likelihood of reaching the targets, focus on central areas for climate policy, and relevant political measures to bring Denmark closer to reaching its targets. A central element of the report is the DCCC’s statutory assessment of whether the Danish government’s climate efforts have demonstrated how to reach the target of a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Danish climate policy takes place on an international stage, where the EU in particular has an influence on the frameworks and options for Danish climate efforts. The DCCC’s outlook therefore focuses in particular on EU climate policy. The outlook also addresses global climate efforts

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The energy transition in the context of geopolitical developments

Geopolitical developments have changed the dynamics between the winding down of old energy systems and the building up of new ones. Developments around the world mean that the pace of  phasing out of old energy systems is increasingly influenced by the issue of energy security. As a result, the energy transition is now being driven by climate ambitions and the desire to continue to guarantee energy security with reduced dependence on countries outside the EU. This expected push for an enhanced energy transition or adjustments in direction comes with challenges

In this context the EEAC Working Group on Climate Change and Energy organized an internal policy briefing. Two experts shared their insights with the members of the EEAC Network. André Faaij (Director of Science TNO Energy transition) zoomed in on the impacts of the current energy crisis and an effective response that accelerates the energy transition. Elisa Giannelli (Senior Policy Advisor, E3G) focused on the options Europe has to reduce dependency on third country fossil fuels, while safeguarding energy security and affordability.

In conclusions, both experts shared their views on the questions whether – low carbon – energy sources can fill the void of fossil fuels in our energy mix in the short (next 2,5 years) and mid ( 2,5 to 8 years) term without jeopardizing energy security or affordability? Read More

Save the date: EEAC Annual Conference 14-15 September 2022

This year, the EEAC Annual Conference – entitled: “The Critical Decade of Action: Mobilising Sustainability Transformation in Europe” will take place in Helsinki on September 14th and 15th 2022. The conference will be 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 brings together experts particularly from academia and government to discuss the next steps for facilitating the much-needed transformation in the critical decade of action. We will hear interesting keynote speeches and engage in sessions, including the following themes:

  • Medium-term actions needed against biodiversity crisis
  • Joining forces for sustainability transformation
  • Europe’s global responsibility in climate change

New podcast series: Sustainability Made in Europe

Today, the first episode of a new podcast series ”Sustainability Made in Europe: A Policy Podcast on Finance, Reporting & Governance” is launched on Spotify and Anchor. The new podcast series debates major dynamics at the EU-level and presents expert views and backgrounds.

The first episode

In the first of four episodes, high-level experts such as Sandrine Dixson-Declѐve, Co-President of the Club of Rome and Udo Bullmann, member of the European Parliament, contribute their knowledge and experience. With a mix of expert interviews and contextual background information, this episode will provide a multi-perspective view on the European Green Deal and the EU’s sustainability policy in general.

The next series of episodes

In the following three episodes, the interviews with experts from politics, academia and business will focus on the EU Taxonomy, the draft Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the recently published draft Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, which aims to ensure human rights and environmental protection along global value chains. The goal of the podcast series is to make complex sustainability issues accessible to a broad audience while also providing in-depth expert knowledge.

Background

The issues of sustainable finance, reporting and corporate governance are getting more and more attention in the European Union. Several regulatory initiatives have been published and have sometimes led to fierce debate. The new podcast series titled Sustainability Made in Europe: A Policy Podcast on Finance, Reporting & Governance picks up on these debates at the EU-level on various sustainability topics. Experts from academia, business and politics provide valuable insights into the most important legislative initiatives. The podcast series is a joint project of the Belgian (FRDO-CFDD) and German (RNE) Councils for Sustainable Development under the umbrella of the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils Network (EEAC), implemented and hosted by Colin Bien from Masters of Change.