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Ambitious Climate Policy Through Centralization?

Evidence from the European Union

Striking a balance between centralization and decentralization of competences is a challenge that dates to the start of European integration. There are some drivers that work towards greater centralization of EU climate policies – the need for enhanced climate action, electricity market integration and a realization of the Energy Union. At the same time, centralization in and of itself is not a guarantee for more ambitious or effective climate policies. In a new publication appearing in the journal Climate Policy authors Camilla Bausch and Benjamin Görlach of Ecologic Institute and Michael Mehling of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) trace the evolution and role of the centralization/decentralization debate in the context of EU climate policy. The article looks at emissions trading and the promotion of renewable energy as cases of centralization vs. decentralization, but cautions that this trend is neither smooth nor guaranteed to persist. In the dynamic and reflexive governance system of the EU, there is no one-size-fits-all, optimal balance between centralized and decentralized policy from a climate perspective.Read more

Implementation of Circular Economy Business Models by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and Enablers

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy and a key player to steer our economy towards a more circular model. However, their small size means that they face unique challenges on the path to closing loops and improving resource efficiency. In an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Sustainability, under lead authorship by Vasileios Rizos from CEPS, Terri Kafyeke, Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers, and other members of the GreenEcoNet project consortium explore barriers and opportunities faced by SMEs trying to become greener.Read more

A Systemic and Systematic Approach to the Development of a Policy Mix for Material Resource Efficiency

Increasing material use efficiency is important to mitigate future supply risks and minimize environmental impacts associated with the production of materials. The policy mix presented in this paper aims to contribute to reducing the use of virgin metals in the EU by 80% by 2050 without significantly shifting burdens to other material resources, the environmental or other parts of the world. The article, which was written with the collaboration of Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers (Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute), is available for download.Read more
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Promoting Innovation Through the Assessment of Changes in Fresh Water Ecosystem Services

The DESSIN ESS Evaluation Framework
Members of the research team of the European water research project DESSIN, a four-year EU-funded FP7 project, published an article in the GAWT Magazine. Authored by Gerardo Anzaldua, Sarah Beyer and Manuel Lago from Ecologic Institute, Nadine Vanessa Gerner and Issa Nafo from the Emschergenossenschaft and Sebastian Birk from the University of Duisburg-Essen, the article provides insights on key findings and presents the evaluation framework developed during the project. The article is available for download.Read more

New Approaches & Technologies For Tackling Emerging Pollutants In Drinking & Wastewater

In October 2015, DEMEAU, a three-year EU-funded FP7 project, made headlines in the release of the German American Water Technology (GAWT) Magazine. The cover of the latest edition of the magazine features the article entitled "New Approaches & Technologies for Tackling Emerging Pollutants in Drinking & Wastewater." The article authored by Ecologic Institute's Ulf Stein, Evelyn Lukat, and Anna Bee Szendrenyi sheds light on key findings from the DEMEAU project, which recently concluded in August 2015. The article is available for download.Read more

Why Do We Decide to Live with Risk at the Coast?

In the article "Why do we decide to live with risk at the coast?" recently published in "Ocean and Coastal Management", Dr. Grit Martinez of Ecologic Institute and Susana Costas and Prof. Oscar Ferreira of the University of Algarve explore risk perception in a community found in the vulnerable coastal region, Praia de Faro, on the southern coast of Portugal. The study addresses the identification of factors shaping risk perception and the reasons leading to settlement of high-risk coastal areas. Read more

Land Degradation Neutrality under the SDGs

National and international implementation of the land degradation neutral world target
The article "Land degradation neutrality under the SDGs: National and international implementation of the land degradation neutral world target" by Elizabeth Dooley, Ennid Roberts and Stephanie Wunder explores how the current momentum in international soil policy can be used to promote sustainable land use and reduce land degradation, particularly through the SDG process and using UN Conventions. It puts a special emphasis on the opportunities and challenges of the concept of "land degradation neutrality."Read more
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Wie können Städte voneinander lernen?

Netzwerke im Klimaschutz
Cities and municipalities play a key role in finding solutions for climate change issues on the local level. A number of research projects already provides best-practice examples and strategies for their implementation. An effective exchange of municipalities facilitates the spread of available knowledge much faster. Within this article Ecologic Institute's Doris Knoblauch, Arne Riedel, and Monica Ridway discuss the central challenges of both groups and elaborate on the themes and methods used for networking. Read more

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