Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union and Environmental Action Germany (Deutsche Umwelthilfe) have convened a group of over 20 experts from academia, industry, civil society and policy makers to discuss and identify several important policy gaps in the EU’s approach to renewable energy, which should be addressed to ensure that the EU’s new climate and industry agenda becomes as effective and globally equitable as it can be.
The European Commission has proposed a reform in the electricity market design. Both the technical implementation of the reform and the notion that marginal pricing is to blame are contested, and have significant implications with regard to investments in renewable energy sources (RES). This factsheet summarizes the key changes proposed in the reform, whilst focusing on their effects regarding the integration of RES into the European energy system and the flexibility potential required to achieve this integration.
To meet the EU climate targets, policymakers need to support both the rapid deployment and manufacturing of cleantech, while also strengthening the EU’s research and innovation ecosystem. Next to this, they need to consider a range of questions. How will their policy response deliver quality jobs for citizens? How will it bolster the EU’s resilience vis-à-vis Russia or China? And finally, how will it support the EU’s economic competitiveness in an era when large economies have entered a cleantech race? This factsheet reviews existing EU funding initiatives to accomplish this endeavour.
In several countries in the EU, as well as in the Brussels corridors of the European Union institutions, a vehement debate is currently taking place regarding the demand for more nuclear power. Only five years ago, this attention hardly existed. This study looks at the sudden surge in attention for nuclear energy and tries to understand the role of different actors on the side of the nuclear lobby. It investigates the case of the Netherlands, which turned from a de facto nuclear phase-out country to one where expansion of nuclear energy is currently under preparation, as well as the European Union, where a large minority of Member States have brought nuclear back to the table in many climate-related legislative debates.
2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the European Single Market. To celebrate this occasion, and to develop new ideas for the future of European integration, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung’s European Union office asked its partners for their visions for the future of the Single Market. This collection of brief essays shows the diverse views on the European Single Market, whilst unveiling green visions for the next 30 years. What unifies these different takes — ranging from environmental and consumer standards, Brexit, lobbying and more — is the understanding that the European Single Market remains a cornerstone of European Integration.
As part of the “European Green Deal”, the European Commission committed to introducing a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in late 2019. It tabled the legislative proposal in summer 2021. The measure is controversial, and many questions remain. What is the right timeframe for its implementation? How to use the generated revenues? What about climate justice considerations?
The Europe Sustainable Development Report 2022 is the fourth edition of our independent quantitative report on the progress of the European Union, its member states and partner countries towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year's report is a special edition in support of the upcoming EU Voluntary Review and the next United Nations' Heads of State Summit on the SDGs. To that end, this year's edition also presents 10 contributions from scientists and practitioners on ways to strengthen the EU's SDG leadership at home and internationally.
As we write this in March of 2022, our review of the year 2021 is overshadowed by Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. Because of this, not only foreign policy, but also domestic politics have now entered a new era.
The European Union is one of the world’s biggest markets for pesticides with almost a quarter of all pesticides sold in the EU. It is also the top exporting region, increasingly selling to countries of the Global South to which pesticides that are banned in the EU can still be exported. The Pesticide Atlas raises awareness, provides comprehensive information and fosters nuanced debate around agrochemicals used for pest control. It sheds light on different aspects from scientific research, including the impact of pesticides on soils, waters, biodiversity and health, and highlights alternative models with a more stringent implementation of integrated pest management where synthetic substances are only a last resort option.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2022 (WNISR2022) assesses the status and trends of the international nuclear industry. It provides a comprehensive overview of nuclear power plant data, including information on operation, production, construction, and decommissioning. It assesses the status of new-build programs in existing as well as in potential newcomer nuclear countries. The report also compares the development of nuclear power and renewable energy globally.
The EU must put an end to unabated fossil gas use by 2050 at the latest to comply with its climate neutrality objective. To stay within the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C, the use of unabated fossil gas would have to end significantly earlier – by 2035. This report outlines the implications of this challenge for the management of the energy transition in a way that rapidly phases out Russian gas imports, protects security of supply and energy-poor consumers as well as the climate.
This publication aims at contributing to the emergence of a transformative economic thinking, integrating environmental, social, and economic dimensions, after the wreckage of neoliberal economic thought that clearly has reached its date of expiry. It is the product of a collaboration of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the ZOE Institute for Future-Fit Economies, and Finanzwende Recherche.
Current discussions about growing food on fallow land are missing the point: the price-reduction effect would be very low. This publication argues that it would be better to provide financial aid to the most vulnerable countries in the Global South.
Ukraine was among the first EU neighbours to announce their readiness to contribute to the European Green Deal and a high-level EU-Ukraine dialogue on this topic has already commenced. However, what are the contours of Ukraine’s engagement with the EGD and how will it move forward?
The analytical commentaries of this issue discuss the prospects for a just green transition in the Western Balkan countries and their particular contexts of structural injustices in the societies and transition legacies. The fundamental economic and technological changes for a decarbonisation of the widely coal dependent economies in the region need to be accompanied not only by another attitude to nature and biodiversity but also by a new set of social relationships and innovations in governance and civic participation.
Este documento es un complemento a la versión en español del “Atlas Europeo de la Movilidad 2021” de la Fundación Heinrich Böll y la Fundación Verde Europea, en cooperación con la Fundación Transición Verde y la Fundació Nous Horitzons.
El transporte y la movilidad sostenibles son fundamentales para hacer frente a la crisis climática y alcanzar los objetivos del Pacto Verde Europeo. Sin embargo, el transporte hoy representa casi el 30 por ciento de las emisiones de CO₂ dentro de la Unión Europea. ¿Cómo puede la UE reducir sus emisiones de transporte y movilidad al mismo tiempo que conecta a los ciudadanos, crea empleos verdes y lidera la innovación en el sector?
Il trasporto e la mobilità sostenibili sono fondamentali per affrontare la crisi climatica e raggiungere gli obiettivi del Green Deal europeo. Tuttavia, i trasporti oggi rappresentano quasi il 30% delle emissioni di CO₂ all'interno dell'Unione europea. In che modo l'UE può ridurre le emissioni dei trasporti e della mobilità mettendo in contatto i cittadini, creando posti di lavoro verdi e guidando l'innovazione nel settore?
The report covers a range of important aspects of Europe’s agri-food and rural policy, and includes some brand new content, while also bringing together the ARC2020's work during 2021. It includes an overview, an analysis of the initial European Commission recommendations, analyses of aspects of CAP in Germany (Green Architecture), Bulgaria (High Nature Value) Poland, Italy, precision farming, and finally CAP and EU relations to third countries.
The Europe Sustainable Development Report 2021 is the third edition of our independent quantitative report on the progress of the European Union and European countries towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report was prepared by teams of independent experts at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).
On the basis of experience from working closely together with communities living near mining sites, the authors have identified various ways how to implement environmental due diligence on the ground. This can be useful both in drafting legislation and considering its practical implementation.
A continuing insistence on nuclear will be detrimental to our ability to power a Just Transition: while the jobs it creates are few and primarily for the highly skilled, its enormous costs will likely result in austerity policies.
The notion of geoengineering includes a wide array of technologies that seek to intervene in and alter earth systems on a large scale – a “technofix” to climate change. There are many reasons to be wary of these technologies. They do not address the underlying causes of climate change themselves, anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, thereby delaying the implementation of a transition away from fossil fuels. Moreover, as they are very pricy, they redirect funding and investments away from real climate solutions.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021 (WNISR2021) assesses the status and trends of the international nuclear industry, and contains several focus chapters, including a first assessment of Nuclear Power and Climate Change Resilience. A special Fukushima Status Report – 10 Years After provides an overview of ongoing onsite/offsite challenges, health impacts, judicial decisions, and cost estimates of the disaster. Chernobyl – 35 Years After the Disaster Began looks at advances in the cleanup and remaining challenges. For the first time, WNISR dedicates a chapter to the problem of Nuclear Power and Criminal Energy.
There is hardly any other food that pollutes our environment and the climate as badly as meat. However, no government in the world currently has a concept of how meat consumption and production can be significantly reduced. But if the sector continues to grow as it has up to now, almost 360 million tons of meat will be produced and consumed worldwide in 2030. With ecological effects that are hard to imagine.
The findings of this joint policy brief challenge the flawed underlying assumptions of the original EU Joint Research Centre (JRC)’s assessment, published in April 2021, which concluded that nuclear energy is detrimental neither to people nor to the environment. These concern chiefly four aspects: the role of nuclear energy for power generation in the EU27; nuclear waste management; the risk assessment of nuclear technologies; and nuclear proliferation.
This report maps the gender gaps and opportunities in the EU’s flagship European Green Deal. It explores how, though gender issues affect environmental policies and vice-versa, they are not integrated into the European Green Deal, and provides recommendations on how to move from gender-blind to gender-transformative environmental policies. These include intersectional and gender equal environmental objectives, moving towards a feminist economy of well-being and care and ensuring the use of gender mainstreaming methodologies in environmental policies.
The debate in France today on choosing the electricity mix is set against the backdrop of an ageing production infrastructure that is earmarked for replacement. So, what electricity mix is the answer? And does the country need to build new nuclear reactors in order to have decarbonised electricity?
Nuclear energy has been brought back into the European energy debate due to populist power. Currently, a complex debate is taking place within the EU about whether nuclear power should be part of the Taxonomy for Sustainable Activities. To determine whether nuclear energy can, or even should, play a role in future energy policy, it must fulfil basic criteria of sustainability.
Sustainable transport and mobility are key to tackle the climate crisis and to achieve the targets of the European Green Deal. However, transport today accounts for nearly 30 percent of the CO₂ emissions within the European Union. How can the EU reduce its transport and mobility emissions while connecting citizens, creating green jobs and leading the innovation in the sector?
Transport amounts for more than 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. Mobility is a key element of the interconnected European Union and its neighbours. Rail is and has been the way to connect Europe sustainably, by night trains and high-speed connections. The sustainable showcase projects have been chosen in order to raise the interest in ‘special’ new mobility projects.
Throughout 2020, ARC2020’s Matteo Metta, along with Hans Wetzels and Rosa Melina Armijo Campos have worked on the Common Agriculture Policy, CAP, specifically the unfolding of the CAP Strategic Plans process. This work has formed the content of their dedicated CAP Strategic Plans section, and the new report which has been compiled from these policy analysis pieces.
The Europe Sustainable Development Report 2020 is the second edition of an independent quantitative report on the progress of the European Union and its member states towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report was prepared by teams of independent experts at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).
With the increasing deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies across society, it is important to understand in which ways AI may accelerate or impede climate progress, and how various stakeholders can guide those developments.
The rate of deforestation in Amazonia during the Bolsonaro era has risen dramatically, now also spurred by the Covid-19 crisis. This publication takes closer look at the complex social, economic and political causes of deforestation and land degradation in the so-called "lungs of the planet".
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR2020) assesses the status and trends of the international nuclear industry and analyzes the additional challenges nuclear power is facing in the age of COVID-19. For the first time the report includes as specific chapter analyzing nuclear programs in the Middle East as the first reactor started up in the Arab world.
Both in Germany and internationally, the debate on the pricing of greenhouse gas emissions is experiencing a renaissance. However, an enlightened and realistic discussion of ways and means is needed so that CO2 pricing instruments can play a stronger role in climate policy. In this study, climate and energy expert Felix Chr. Matthes of the Öko-Institut examines the relevant elements of a CO2 pricing strategy. He gives an overview of design criteria and mechanisms of action.
The EU is the world's largest trading bloc. It provides the biggest export market for around 80 countries; and EU Member States account for 16% of world imports and exports. Consequently, the EU has a considerable impact on third countries through trade, including the way in which international trade is conducted and how environmental and wider sustainability related aspects are addressed. This policy paper explores what a truly green EU trade policy under the EU Green Deal should look like.
This special edition of Perspectives was compiled with the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s North Africa offices and the Transform Africa project. It is dedicated to the emerging conversation of alternative approaches that challenge the historical bias towards the industrialisation of agriculture and the food system as the main strategy to address food insecurity while preparing for a +2°C world.
This briefing is an overview of the EU’s plans to fund and boost climate action. It also provides policy guidelines and recommendations to EU institutions and national governments as to how to finance a European Green Deal and ensure a smoother transition to a climate neutral economy. Furthermore, it advises civil society organisations on how to engage in the process and ensure a consistent and independent monitoring of progress that will be made in the coming years.
The 2019 Europe Sustainable Development Report compares the performance of the EU and its 28 member states on all 17 SDGs and provides detailed country profiles using a mix of data sources. As the new European Commission prepares the European Green Deal, the report sheds light on the key economic, social and environmental sustainability challenges faced by the member states and the European Union as a whole in their progress towards SDGs.
The present study, authored by scientists from different backgrounds, makes the eloquent case for such a reflection, pause, and reassessment. The publication is recommended to any reader concerned about our oceans' future.
Plastic is ubiquitous: we use it for life-saving medical devices, clothing, toys and cosmetics; we use it in agriculture and industry. But we also know the growing risk of plastic waste in the environment, landfills and the oceans. We have only just begun to understand the huge dimensions of this crisis. A change of course requires in-depth knowledge of the causes, interests, responsibilities and effects of the plastics crisis. The Plastics Atlas 2019 wants to offer exactly that in 19 chapters.
The EU, its institutions and all Member States must prioritize urgent action in order to implement the Paris Agreement's goal to limit the increase in temperatures to 1.5°C. The MFF 2021-2027 is the last investment cycle to help change course, and a stronger climate performance is urgently needed to reach our 2030 climate targets.
In voter surveys, the German Greens regularly come out as the party deemed to have by far the greatest competency in this area and in energy policy as well. This study by Arne Jungjohann tries to answer if this image is justified, as it looks at the subnational level of the federal states.
Facts and Figures on EU Farming Policy: No other economic activity is so closely interwoven with the human and natural environment as is agriculture. If farming changes, so too the ecological and social systems that it hosts must change. The Agriculture Atlas shows how closely Europe’s agriculture is intertwined with our lives and our living space and pushes for a better, fundamentally different set of agricultural policies.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2018 (WNISR2018) provides a comprehensive overview of nuclear power plant data, including information on age, operation, production and construction. WNISR2018 has put particular attention to seven Focus Countries representing about two thirds of the global fleet.
The paper outlines the environmental dimension of the European security policy and security-related foreign policy and discusses how the integration of environmental concerns into this policy framework could – and should – be improved to support the delivery of the 2030 Sustainability Agenda, both in the EU and globally.
Being one of the wealthiest regions in the world, the EU has a lot to give when it comes to the delivery of SDGs in the global context. However, as one of the world’s biggest consumers and trading blocs it also has a lot to answer.
The rapid development of Indonesia’s palm oil industry, particularly over the last four decades, which to some extent has been ‘development at all costs’, has generated significant revenues but has caused simultaneously massive environmental degradation. Human rights violations in palm oil plantations are also widely documented.
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial is feasible. This publication is a civil society response to the challenge of limiting global warming to 1.5°C while also paving the way for climate justice.
For a long time, the issue of climate change has been approached primarily from an environmental rather than a social perspective. As climate effects on communities have been increasingly felt around the planet during the past decade, the perception of impacts on communities has increased around the globe.
The European Energy Atlas shows a clear alternative: It not only provides a compass on the different energy discussions in different Member States but also reveals how a Europeanization of the energy transition will be the more efficient and cost-effective option for all Europeans.
The study demonstrates the complexity of climate co-funding, the local obstacles in host countries, and the inadequacy of supervisory procedures. It also shows the importance of integrating climate change, human rights and gender equality policies into the development of geothermal projects and their enforcement at country level.
Indonesia is the world’s largest palm oil producer and exporter. Human rights are being violated in the plantations and the rising exploitation for renewable energy and biofuels brings further violence and criminalisation. How can the EU contribute to a sustainable palm oil production in Indonesia to best preserve nature and human rights?
How to plan and design renewable energy projects as a way to fulfill domestic climate commitments? A Mexican case study into wind farm projects in Oaxaca and infringements of the rights of indigenous peoples.
The EU is still getting to grips with the need to transition to a fully decarbonised economy, the political economy challenges of deep decarbonisation, the need to develop a regime to manage climate risk, and with aligning its own efforts with those of non-state actors such as cities and progressive businesses. How does climate governance fit within the ‘Future of Europe’ process led by the European Commission?
Without the ocean there would be no life on our planet. But the future of this unique ecosystem faces a grave threat today. The Ocean Atlas 2017 delivers with its 18 contributions and 50 graphics the relevant facts and figures about the ocean.
Linking human rights and a gender-responsive approach to climate actions, can avoid harmful unintended consequences and maximize social benefits of programmes and projects. This interim report provides a general assessment of how to effectively integrate human rights and gender equality as well as the broader SDG agenda into EU climate actions.
In 2003, the Belgian government decided on a phase-out of its nuclear power fleet by 2025. The policy brief investigates the current Belgian electricity landscape in preparation of this phase-out. In how far is Belgium prepared and ready to fill the gap with renewable energy sources?
Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are blessed with huge and diversified renewable energy potential. Given the ever-increasing role of renewables in the energy mix of the EU, renewable energy cooperation has been a major pillar of the EU-MENA partnership.
How can European cities and citizens deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, what do they mean for European cities and how can citizens and grassroots initiatives help implement them? We discussed with various stakeholders on concrete examples of transformative and replicable actions coming from sub-national governments and civil society organisations.
Infrastructure development acts as a gateway to natural resources and markets, powers industry, and provides key services to citizens around the world. However, the OECD’s infrastructure investment advice to the G20 is “out of sync” with recent achievements of the global community, such as the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Renewable energy sources (RES) will have to play a predominant role in the EU’s future energy mix in order to ensure a competitive, secure and sustainable energy system. Regional cooperation can be a promising way to bridge the gap between national policies and the Europeanised approach.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation European Union and the representation of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to the EU organised an evening debate on 20th April in order to discuss the practice and impact of agribusiness in Europe, focusing on interrelations and responsibility concerning global and development policy.
The level of political commitment in the build up to Paris means a deal is very likely. A successful climate agreement will establish an enduring framework within which governments can work together to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2°C.
La lutte contre le changement climatique influence de plus en plus les politiques énergétiques. En effet, réduire la consommation d’énergies fossiles, et la production de dioxyde de carbone associée, est le principal levier de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre.
The transformation of economic growth towards a lower dependency on fossil fuels and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential for the feasibility of a successful global climate strategy. A study by DIW Econ.
The European Union and the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region have already got an increasing experience of cooperation in this field, either under the context of EUROCLIMA or other specific EU programmes or on the basis of bilateral cooperation between different countries in each region. This paper suggests new precise proposals, complementary to the ongoing work on many different subjects such as REDD, agriculture, early warning systems.
How can the transatlantic exchange help to make energy infrastructure compatible with a transition to a low-carbon energy system? What new opportunities arise from investments in smart energy infrastructure? Which governance options can provide for effective, coherent and democratic energy infrastructure planning and what role can regional cooperation play in this regard?
With the 2014 Climate Summit taking place in Lima, Latin America is put into the spotlight of the international climate scene. Based on shared history and values, Latin America and the European Union could strengthen their bi-regional partnership and develop new narratives that might help to overcome the North-South division.
Comment des consommateurs normaux peuvent-ils comprendre les effets causés par leur consommation de viande ? Combien de personnes réalisent que notre demande de viande est directement responsable du défrichement de la forêt amazonienne ? Sommes-nous conscients des impacts de l’élevage industriel sur la pauvreté et la faim, les déplacements de populations et la migration, sur le bien-être animal, ou sur le changement climatique et la biodiversité ?
Three years after Fukushima, global nuclear power generation continues to decline. This year's report states that the nuclear share in the world's power generation declined steadily from a historic peak of 17.6 percent in 1996 to 10.8 percent in 2013. If it weren’t for the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, we probably wouldn’t know. This is because the nuclear industry is working hard to have us believe quite the opposite: that the world is seeing a nuclear renaissance.
The focus on the Energiewende has increasingly shifted to the role of coal in Germany. Arne Jungjohann and Craig Morris take a critical and historical look at the German coal situation and find that coal is in fact not making a comeback in Germany.
In this Memorandum the notion of new politics is introduced to look at current conflicts around resource use as a complex set of interactions between nature, humans, interests, power relations and cultures. With this text the Heinrich Böll Foundation offers a perspective which combines democracy, ecology and human rights and lays out fundamental ways forward that can form the basis for fair and sustainable Resource Politics.
This paper demonstrates that an expansion of renewable energy sources is the only path to a secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy system until 2030 and beyond. Renewables not only drastically reduce emissions and other environmental and social burdens; they also reduce energy import dependency and hence increase energy security, strengthen local economies, and create jobs.
Germany’s energy transition, or Energiewende, has been a success story thus far in terms of renewable electricity production (especially solar PV and onshore wind), technological innovation, job creation, and citizen involvement in clean-energy generation, among other areas. Yet there is room for improvement.
The next years are critical for international action on climate change. The current negotiation process, as mandated by the Durban Plan of Action, aims at a new global climate agreement by the year 2015, which will take effect in 2020.
In this report, we assess the potential of three relatively promising international processes - the focus on fossil fuel subsidy (FFS) reform in the G20 group, the Sustainable Develoment Goals (SDGs), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - to act as possible routs to reform in a transtlantic context.
Our publication “A European Union for Renewable Energy” provides a collection of innovative policy ideas for better grids and support schemes for renewable energy sources. The report argues for an enhanced European cooperation in order to facilitate the shift towards renewable energy sources. More coordination at the European level would increase security of supply, reduce costs, enhance innovation and foster the competitiveness of the European economy.
The chemical industry is extremely important for Germany. For many, however, the chemical industry is also associated with environmental pollution, high risks and greenhouse gas emissions. The study Going Green: Chemicals describes the changes needed in the chemical industry in Germany and the European Union in order to meet environmental and climate protection targets while, at the same time, remaining competitive.
By comparing these energy policies, the objective was to jointly discuss collaboratively the future of the European energy transition, around the French-German duo. This conference was part of the GET@EU project (The German Energy Transition in the European Context), which aims at strengthening dialogue and exchange on energy transition issues between Germany and its European neighbours.