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28th EEAC Annual Conference: Make Sure To Register Now

Public registration for the 28th EEAC Annual Conference is open! Over three days from Tuesday 27th October to Thursday 29th October, a diverse mix of experts, academics, councils and policy makers will contribute to the 28th EEAC Annual Conference, which will comprise a mix of keynote speakers, panel discussions and spotlight sessions.

In this short video address, Dr Larry O’Connell, Director of NESC (host of this year’s EEAC Annual Conference, shares further details of the online conference.

REGISTER YOUR ATTENDANCE HERE

COPY OF PROGRAMME HERE

INFORMATION ON SPOTLIGHT SESSIONS HERE

The conference will provide a forum for Irish and European colleagues to share perspectives, experiences and practices and develop a common understanding and concrete strategies for making progress. The conference will shed light on how other countries are managing the transition process, with special attention paid to managing the impacts of climate policy that might disproportionately impact specific groups in society. This is required because transitions represent enormous challenges and the ambition of the 2030 Agenda states that no one should be left behind. Read More

Latest position paper: No sustainable financial planning means no green future for Europe

In its position paper the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) declared that the package of measures put forward by the European Council in July, with its 30% climate target and the financial assistance for those states and sectors hit especially hard by the corona virus crisis, contains many elements worthy of support. The RNE thus welcomes the proposal from heads of state and government as a sound basis for discussion. However, in the course of negotiations with the member states in the European Parliament further, improvements must be achieved.

In its position paper , the RNE recommends, among other things, that:

  • The guiding compass to follow be that of sustainability, in particular the landmark announcements from Commission President Ursula von der Leyen regarding the European Green Deal and climate protection,
  • The New Generation EU recovery fund be implemented swiftly, and;
  • That the currently insufficient allocation of monies to international cooperation within the multiannual financial framework (MFF) be increased.

The RNE further welcomes the EU summit supporting the allocation of additional EU funds for sustainability-related topics, such as for expanding EU emissions trading. Own monies for non-recycled plastic waste as well as a digital tax and a carbon border tax are planned. These funds can, however, only be allocated if all members states give their approval. Read More 

 

Latest publications: The Annual Review

As set out in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015, a key task of the Climate Change Advisory Council in Ireland is to conduct an annual review of progress made over the previous year in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and furthering the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy and society by 2050. This is the Climate Change Advisory Council’s fourth Annual Review of progress on transition. Read More

New articles on Covid-19 & Sustainable Development

During the European Sustainable Development Week and Global Goals Week in September, EEAC member councils organized a variety of activities. Among others, a series of interesting articles was published that focused on the relation between the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

With a co-authored editorial by EEAC Chairman Arnau Queralt, and two articles by EEAC members and partners (Eeva Furman, Chair of the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development in Finland + Sandrine Dixon Decléve, Vice Chair Club of Rome, Elise Buckle,  Founder and President of Climate & Sustainability) an interesting light is shed on how systemic transformation for people, planet and prosperity might help us to emerge from emergency and how the Covid-19 pandemic is a test case to deal with broader sustainability deficiencies.

The articles were published in the IDEES Magazine. IDEES is the online magazine on contemporary issues edited by the Centre for Contemporary Studies an in-house think tank of the Government of Catalonia.

Financing the green transition in times of economic recovery

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.

Focus

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?

Who contributed?  

Confirmed speakers are: 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).

Follow up

The session outcome documents will be released in due time.

Letter on the promotion of international rail passenger transport endorsed by fellow advisory councils

Together with four other governmental advisory councils on sustainability and the environment, the Dutch Council on the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) has written a letter to the European Commission on the promotion of international rail passenger transport. In recent months, an additional four advisory councils (from Ireland, Portugal, Germany and Hungary) have expressed their support and endorsed the letter. The letter and the list of endorsements can be found here

Internal EEAC Session: Towards an ambitious environmental policy in Germany and Europe, Part II

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

Online policy briefing on the HLPF 2020

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

The latest contribution on a Green Recovery

Early August, The Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) published it’s advisory letter entitled ‘Green Recovery’. In this letter the Council discusses the concurrence of economic recovery policy and the transition towards a sustainable society, which will have an important impact on the choices to be made. Among others things, the Council argues in favour of a green recovery from the corona crisis, in which economy, employment and a sustainable physical environment go hand in hand. According to the Council, increasing the sustainability of the economy and physical environment is, as yet, not adequately incorporated into considerations about economic recovery policy. Furthermore, the Council offers an assessment framework that can help policymakers and political parties in designing green recovery policy, when drafting election manifestos or drawing up the next Coalition Agreement. The Council also presented numerous concrete suggestions for green recovery measures.

This advisory letter by the Dutch Rli, is one of many contributions made by advisory bodies on the Covid-19 crisis and the issue of a Green Recovery. For the other publications visit the EEAC Network’s special Covid-19 & Green Recovery page.

Latest publication: Using the CO2 budget to meet the Paris climate targets

In this chapter of the Environmental Report 2020, the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) exemplifies how the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement can be translated into a national CO2 budget that can serve as a yardstick for future national climate policy.

In this chapter the SRU recommends that the Federal Government should set a German CO2 budget compatible with the Paris Agreement and tighten the climate targets accordingly. The budget should not replace existing targets, SRU argues, but shouldserve as an overarching basis for assessment. At the same time, it is urgently necessary to implement measures that will pave the way to climate neutrality, for example by accelerating the expansion of renewable energies.Only in this way can the use of fossil resources be quickly brought to an end. In order to keep within budget, progress on reductions must be regularly reviewed and measures must be continuously refined, the council stated in this chapter f the Environmental Report 2020. Read More