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Ten opportunities for Europe post-coronavirus: Exploring potential for progress in EU policy-making

29-07-2020

Whilst much commentary and analysis has understandably been focused on reaction to, and mitigation of, the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis in Europe and worldwide, relatively little attention has been paid to areas of potential opportunity which the crisis may offer to improve policy for the future. This EPRS analysis looks at ten areas which may offer potential for progress, including working more closely together on health policy, using climate action to promote a sustainable recovery ...

Whilst much commentary and analysis has understandably been focused on reaction to, and mitigation of, the immediate impact of the coronavirus crisis in Europe and worldwide, relatively little attention has been paid to areas of potential opportunity which the crisis may offer to improve policy for the future. This EPRS analysis looks at ten areas which may offer potential for progress, including working more closely together on health policy, using climate action to promote a sustainable recovery, re-thinking the world of work, future-proofing education, harnessing e commerce and championing European values and multilateralism.

Climate change and climate action

29-07-2020

The coronavirus crisis presents challenges as well as opportunities for policies to address the issue of climate change. Measures taken in reaction to the pandemic have led to a dramatic fall in economic and social activity, and to a corresponding temporary drop in greenhouse gas emissions. Certain behaviour changes adopted during the crisis, such as teleworking and video-conferences, may persist and lead to permanently reduced emissions related to commuting and business travel. On the other hand ...

The coronavirus crisis presents challenges as well as opportunities for policies to address the issue of climate change. Measures taken in reaction to the pandemic have led to a dramatic fall in economic and social activity, and to a corresponding temporary drop in greenhouse gas emissions. Certain behaviour changes adopted during the crisis, such as teleworking and video-conferences, may persist and lead to permanently reduced emissions related to commuting and business travel. On the other hand, use of private cars may increase if public transport is considered as unsafe. The economic crisis has had a negative impact on household or corporate finances, which may lead to reduction or delay to investment in low-carbon technologies. Recovery packages for restarting the economy offer an opportunity for promoting low-carbon investment, but also bring the risk of financing the continuation of emission-intensive products and activities. The postponement of the COP26 climate change conference by one year slows down international climate action, but also offers the opportunity for the Parties to develop ambitious long-term strategies in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

Sustainable finance – EU taxonomy: A framework to facilitate sustainable investment

27-07-2020

In March 2018, the European Commission presented an action plan on sustainable finance, in order to facilitate investments in sustainable projects and assets across the EU. In May 2018, the Commission put forward a package of three proposals, including measures to create a sustainable taxonomy for the EU; provide clarity on how environmental, social and governance factors can be taken into account for investment decisions; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. The first proposal focuses on establishing ...

In March 2018, the European Commission presented an action plan on sustainable finance, in order to facilitate investments in sustainable projects and assets across the EU. In May 2018, the Commission put forward a package of three proposals, including measures to create a sustainable taxonomy for the EU; provide clarity on how environmental, social and governance factors can be taken into account for investment decisions; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. The first proposal focuses on establishing a common language for sustainable finance (e.g. a unified EU classification system, or taxonomy) through a framework of uniform criteria, as a way to determine whether a given economic activity is environmentally sustainable. On 11 March 2019, the ECON-ENVI joint committee adopted a report on the Commission proposal, calling for a number of changes. On 28 March 2019, the Parliament adopted its position at first reading. After interinstitutional negotiations, on 17 June 2020, the Parliament adopted the compromise text at second reading. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 22 June, and applies as of 12 July although certain provisions apply only as of January 2022 or January 2023. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Will distributed energy resources (DERs) change how we get our energy?

16-07-2020

Decentralised energy resources (DERs) may signal a paradigm shift for electricity production. By 2050, a majority of households in the EU could potentially be suppliers as well as consumers of energy. Energy communities, peer-to-peer trading and interoperable smart grids are emerging trends. This can fit well with the European Green Deal.

Decentralised energy resources (DERs) may signal a paradigm shift for electricity production. By 2050, a majority of households in the EU could potentially be suppliers as well as consumers of energy. Energy communities, peer-to-peer trading and interoperable smart grids are emerging trends. This can fit well with the European Green Deal.

Decoupling economic growth from environmental harm

16-07-2020

Decoupling economic growth from the depletion of planetary resources is a major challenge. An effective strategy will span several domains. Trends to watch include the development of negative emissions technologies, advances in the storage of renewable energy, the circular economy, and reforestation - among many others.

Decoupling economic growth from the depletion of planetary resources is a major challenge. An effective strategy will span several domains. Trends to watch include the development of negative emissions technologies, advances in the storage of renewable energy, the circular economy, and reforestation - among many others.

Climate Change and Migration

15-07-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines legal and policy responses to environmental migration and displacement. Following a review of international, regional and national initiatives and legal instruments, it offers recommendations on ways to better address root causes and consequences of the climate change-migration nexus in Europe and beyond.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, examines legal and policy responses to environmental migration and displacement. Following a review of international, regional and national initiatives and legal instruments, it offers recommendations on ways to better address root causes and consequences of the climate change-migration nexus in Europe and beyond.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Albert KRALER, Danube University Krems Caitlin KATSIAFICAS, International Centre for Migration Policy Development Martin WAGNER, International Centre for Migration Policy Development

What if insects were on the menu in Europe?

03-07-2020

Insects, while commonly consumed elsewhere in the world, have long been off the menu in Europe – but they could soon be creeping their way onto our plates. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is now gaining serious interest – is it set to take Europe by swarm?

Insects, while commonly consumed elsewhere in the world, have long been off the menu in Europe – but they could soon be creeping their way onto our plates. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is now gaining serious interest – is it set to take Europe by swarm?

Covid-19 Newsletter 2: Exit strategy

03-07-2020

As EU Member States embark on a cautious de-confinement path, the economy slides into recession and the question of the proportionality of public health-related measures and their economic consequences is increasingly present in the public debate. As long as a vaccine (or an effective treatment) for the Covid-19 disease is not found and deployed, post-Covid-19 societies will have to coexist with the virus, and find an equilibrium between the social constraints resulting from health protecting measures ...

As EU Member States embark on a cautious de-confinement path, the economy slides into recession and the question of the proportionality of public health-related measures and their economic consequences is increasingly present in the public debate. As long as a vaccine (or an effective treatment) for the Covid-19 disease is not found and deployed, post-Covid-19 societies will have to coexist with the virus, and find an equilibrium between the social constraints resulting from health protecting measures and the need to mitigate as much as possible a huge economic shock, which if not addressed adequately, could have unpredictable social and political consequences. The Covid-19 crisis has shown above all the importance of joint European action. Although public health is primarily the competence of the Member States, the European Parliament has called on the Commission and the Member States to act together and to rise to the challenge and ensure that the Union emerges stronger from this crisis. In particular, a differentiated but coordinated post-lockdown approach in the EU should be ensured, in order to avoid a resurgence of the virus. The present Covid-19 Newsletter focuses on the de-confinement strategies and EU measures to support the economic recovery. An update of ongoing Covid-19 related expertise work for the ECON, EMPL, ENVI, ITRE and IMCO committees is provided at the end of this document.

Challenges for environmental and indigenous peoples’ rights in the Amazon region

30-06-2020

The present analysis examines the environmental and human rights challenges in the Amazon region. It finds that the Amazonian countries pursue development policies in the region based on the exploitation on an industrial scale of natural and non-renewable resources that have caused and continue to cause deforestation, loss of biodiversity and engender human rights violations in particular affecting indigenous peoples. The analysis acknowledges the measures taken by the Amazonian countries to establish ...

The present analysis examines the environmental and human rights challenges in the Amazon region. It finds that the Amazonian countries pursue development policies in the region based on the exploitation on an industrial scale of natural and non-renewable resources that have caused and continue to cause deforestation, loss of biodiversity and engender human rights violations in particular affecting indigenous peoples. The analysis acknowledges the measures taken by the Amazonian countries to establish protected areas and support indigenous territories and their rights but concludes that the laws need strengthening and effective enforcement. The analysis argues that the protection of the Amazon biome is an essential part of the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and concurs with the view of some scientists that there is an urgency to stop forest loss. The analysis further notes that the most effective guardians of the Amazonian forest and its biodiversity are its indigenous peoples. The analysis concludes by arguing that the European Union has an interest in contributing to the protection of the Amazon and its indigenous peoples. It recommends, among other things, that the EU strengthen its direct support to Amazonian indigenous peoples and environmental defenders and develop effective measures which target EU-based companies whose activities cause deforestation.

Εξωτερικός συντάκτης

Dr. Julian BURGER

A more resilient, sustainable and fair Europe after coronavirus?

25-06-2020

The triple-crisis – the pandemic's public health and economic consequences intertwined with the underlying environmental crisis – may lead to increasing divergence, instead of convergence and cohesion among Member States, regions, generations and different groups of society across the EU and globally. However, if handled with a longer-term perspective with the aim of achieving a more resilient, sustainable and fair EU – the crisis also offers the opportunity to turn the three into the guiding principles ...

The triple-crisis – the pandemic's public health and economic consequences intertwined with the underlying environmental crisis – may lead to increasing divergence, instead of convergence and cohesion among Member States, regions, generations and different groups of society across the EU and globally. However, if handled with a longer-term perspective with the aim of achieving a more resilient, sustainable and fair EU – the crisis also offers the opportunity to turn the three into the guiding principles of the recovery. This applies as much for the content of the policies as for the process of their design and implementation, both in the short and longer terms.

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