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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.

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.

Autore esterno

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.

A Comprehensive EU Strategy for Africa

25-06-2020

The new EU-Africa Strategy presented by the Commission on 9 March puts a reinforced emphasis on the creation of a real partnership with a continent whose relevance for Europe is growing by the day. The three briefings focus on different aspects of this new partnership, the first one dealing with the implications for the political dialogue with a focus on (good) governance and the even bigger challenge of security and migration. The second briefing has a look at more ‘traditional’ aspects of this ...

The new EU-Africa Strategy presented by the Commission on 9 March puts a reinforced emphasis on the creation of a real partnership with a continent whose relevance for Europe is growing by the day. The three briefings focus on different aspects of this new partnership, the first one dealing with the implications for the political dialogue with a focus on (good) governance and the even bigger challenge of security and migration. The second briefing has a look at more ‘traditional’ aspects of this relationship, development and humanitarian aid, complemented with the rising challenge of climate change. The new approach is also illustrated by the emphasis put on the promotion of bilateral trade and investment relations, the topic of the third briefing. All these briefings also try to incorporate first elements on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the bilateral relationship.

Autore esterno

Morten BØÅS, Ondřej HORKÝ-HLUCHÁŇ,Ainhoa MARIN-EGOSCOZABAL

A Comprehensive EU Strategy for Africa - Development, Humanitarian Aid and Climate Change

25-06-2020

The new EU Strategy for Africa attempts to reflect the continent’s growing relevance within a partnership rather than through a donor-recipient framework. However, this leads to a prioritisation of the formal, productive and technology sectors as well as climate mitigation at the expense of agriculture, informal sector, human development and climate adaptation. With such skewed priorities, this Strategy is ill-adapted for the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Institutionally, political will is ...

The new EU Strategy for Africa attempts to reflect the continent’s growing relevance within a partnership rather than through a donor-recipient framework. However, this leads to a prioritisation of the formal, productive and technology sectors as well as climate mitigation at the expense of agriculture, informal sector, human development and climate adaptation. With such skewed priorities, this Strategy is ill-adapted for the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Institutionally, political will is needed to ensure that the continent-to-continent approach is not hampered by parallel, contradictory and fragmenting forces within the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) governance frameworks. Financially, mutual accountability must be strengthened by joint funding of joint actions. An inclusive institutional mechanism is also needed to promote political and civil society participation as well as policy coherence for sustainable development beyond migration and climate. More generally, the Strategy advances a government-to-government type of partnership at the expense of a more people-centred approach that is more in line with the ‘principled pragmatism’ of the EU.

Autore esterno

Ondřej HORKÝ-HLUCHÁŇ

'Farm to Fork' strategy: Striving for healthy and sustainable food

17-06-2020

Launched on 20 May 2020, the 'Farm to Fork' strategy put forward the EU’s ambition for making its food system a model of sustainability at all stages of the food value chain. Ahead of the desired engagement of institutions, stakeholders and citizens in a broad debate, the strategy is already high on the agri-food community’s agenda.

Launched on 20 May 2020, the 'Farm to Fork' strategy put forward the EU’s ambition for making its food system a model of sustainability at all stages of the food value chain. Ahead of the desired engagement of institutions, stakeholders and citizens in a broad debate, the strategy is already high on the agri-food community’s agenda.

Key issues in the European Council: State of play in June 2020

17-06-2020

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges ...

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

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