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LIAISE

n.8 - 25/07/2011

EDITORIAL by Sabine Weiland and Klaus Jacob, FUB. In the run-up to the 2012 World Summit in Rio de Janeiro, a major debate on a “Green Economy” is evolving. The OECD developed a Green Growth Strategy, published in May 2011 (see policy section below). The strategy recognizes the potential benefits of green growth and, unlike previous OECD publications, considers green growth as an integrative and cross-sectoral mechanism rather than merely growth of ‘green’ industries. The United National Environmental Programme (UNEP) commissioned two major studies in 2008, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity and the Global Green New Deal, and published the Green Economy Report earlier in 2011. The report stresses the key role of adjusting the framework conditions of the economy to make it work for other, social and environmental, goals of sustainability as well. Other initiatives include the EU growth strategy for the coming decade Europe 2020 – A European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable, and Inclusive Growth which replaces the Lisbon Strategy, including its 3% GDP growth target. The focus on economic growth is maintained in the EU, but at the same time decoupling growth from resource use and a low carbon transition are seen as key objectives (see EU flagship initiative A Resource Efficient Europe).

A Green Economy has become a major element in the quest for sustainable development – however, it is contested. The optimistic view assumes that greening the economy is the driver of economic modernisation and welfare. The sceptical view doubts that important challenges of sustainable development, such as environmental issues, social and distributional effects, and the pressing problems of developing countries, will be met. We can expect that conflicts will rise in this debate. Is a Green Economy capable of dealing with ecological limits? Of solving the social question? Is it a solution to the crisis of the capitalist model, or is it merely a way of continuing business as usual? Policy assessment and impact assessment may contribute to this debate with analyses of causalities between key variables, with indicators, e.g. on welfare, to measure progress, or with models to simulate different development paths into the future. IA is not capable of solving the political struggles of a Green Economy, but it may contribute to work on the involved conflicts.

To contribute to this, the LIAISE network is among others preparing to support the assessment of impacts on third countries beyond Europe. For example, European resource policies do have impacts on all aspects of sustainability in countries where resources are used for import products. Another relevant aspect of a Green Economy is the domestic impacts on the social dimension: Increasing prices for energy and other resources, higher prices for food grown in a more sustainable way, or higher prices for transport – what are their impacts on incomes, on social cohesion and the opportunities to participate in social life? The LIAISE network is motivated to take up this agenda and invites other partners to join efforts for this.

LIAISE News

Sustainability in Impact Assessment Systems in Selected OECD Countries
The Environmental Policy Research Centre at Freie Universität Berlin, together with the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, will conduct a study on sustainability issues in impact assessment systems in selected OECD member states. The study has been commissioned by the OECD and will run from July until September 2011. It will focus on the integration of aspects of sustainable development in the IA requirements of eight OECD countries and provide an overview on the different approaches to institutionalize sustainable development requirements in IA.

Berlin Sustainability Talk with Andrew Jordan: Climate Policy Innovation
In his talk, which was given on 15 June, 2011, in Berlin, Prof. Andrew Jordan sought to explore the concept of (climate) policy innovation, including the conditions under which it might occur (or fail to occur), speculated on its empirical prevalence and suggested what it would take to fully evaluate its effects/future potential.

Bridging the Science-Policy Gap
At the 6th Conference on Interpretive Policy Analysis "Discursive Spaces. Politics, Practices and Power", which was held from 23-25 June, 2011, in Cardiff, UK, Sabine Weiland (FUB) presented a paper entitled "How to bridge the science-policy gap: knowledge brokering for more sustainable policies?". This was part of the session on "The policy analyst as a facilitator", convened by Sophie Allain and Frank Fischer.

VISION Research and Development for Sustainable Development
FEEM is participating as an observer in VISIONRS4SD, an EU Commission coordinated action. The project mainly aims at developing a shared vision between science funding bodies and national science policy institutions in European Member States on how to best harness research and development for sustainable development (RD4SD). The project is establishing a platform for dialogue and experience exchange among science-funding organizations, science policy administrators and science ministries in Europe.

Publications

Special Issue of Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment: Scaling Methods in Integrated Assessment of Agricultural Systems
This special issue contains eleven articles on scaling issues in integrated assessment of agriculture systems, among others on "Scaling methods in integrated assessment of agricultural systems—State-of-the-art and future directions" (Martin Volk, Frank Ewert), "Scale changes and model linking methods for integrated assessment of agri-environmental systems" (Frank Ewert, Martin K. van Ittersum, Thomas Heckelei, Olivier Therond, Irina Bezlepkina, Erling Andersen), and "Impacts of EU biofuels directives on global markets and EU environmental quality: An integrated PE, global CGE analysis" (Wolfgang Britz, Thomas W. Hertel).

Handbook on "Green Ethics and Philosophy"
This eighth volume in the SAGE Series on Green Society covers the moral relationship between humans and their natural environment, specifically targeting the contemporary green movement. With a primary focus on green environmental ethics, this reference work, available in both print and electronic formats, presents approximately 150 signed entries organized A-to-Z, traversing a wide range of curricular disciplines. Sabine Weiland (FUB) contributed an entry on 'biodiversity'.

The Evaluation of Climate Policy: Theory and Emerging Practice in Europe
This new publication on the evaluation of climate policy attempts to provide the first systematic cataloging of the emerging patterns of policy evaluation undertaken in different parts of the European Union. Theories of policy evaluation suggest that these evaluation practices should acknowledge the inherent complexity of climate policy making, be reflexive by questioning official policy goals, and be participatory. A meta-analysis of 259 climate policy evaluations suggests that current practice engages with some but not all of these issues.

Tools for Impact Assessment of EU Policies in Agriculture and Environment
This paper by Basil Manos, Christina Moulogianni and Thomas Bournaris considers IA tools that are commonly used in Europe and the rest of the world for carrying out assessments initiated by policymakers. The aim of the paper is to provide a review of the IA tools applied for the assessment of the EU policies in agriculture and environment. It was presented at the 3rd International Conference on Environmental Management, Engineering, Planning and Economics (CEMEPE 2011) & SECOTOX Conference, in Skiathos, Greece, which took place from 19-24 June, 2011.

Events

IHDP Writing Contest
The International Human Dimension Project (IHDP) Secretariat has announced its first scientific writing contest for a new magazine to be launched in late autumn of 2011. The contest is open to young scholars from all over the world (graduate students, PhD students or postdocs). Articles should address a significant scientific topic relating to the human dimensions of the 'Green Economy'. While the subject matter may be technical, contestants should seek to write an article that is understandable to a non-scientific audience. Entries are not to exceed 3,000 words and must be submitted via e-mail by 31 August, 2011.

Workshop: Time in Context and Time as Context
The research training group "Social Order and Life Chances in International Comparison" at University of Cologne is organizing a workshop on the simulteanous analysis of time and context in multilevel analysis, to be held from 12-14 September, 2011, in Cologne, Germany. The workshop aims at bringing together two perspectives on time that exist in social theory: (1) a procedural perspective which treats time as an individual process within contexts and tries to model the contextual influence on the course of events, and (2) time as context of social action.

4th International Conference on Higher Education for Sustainable Development
The 4th International Conference on "Higher Education for Sustainable Development", which takes place from 14-16 September, 2011, in Lueneburg, Germany, is focusing on new developments in key topics and dynamic regions: Management Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainable Consumption in Higher Education Institutions, and Higher Education for Sustainable Development in Central and Eastern Europe.

Beyond GDP: Sustainability Indicators For Policy Making
IN STREAM is funded by DG Research of the European Commission and focuses on the linking of mainstream indicators with sustainability measures. The final conference will show how IN STREAM results can support policy makers in taking account of sustainability in policy making. The application of the results will be divided into three policy fields: Green growth and green innovation, resource efficiency, biodiversity. The focus is especially on the question of how the results can support the monitoring and evaluation of the Europe 2020 strategy and the Aichi biodiversity strategy 2020. The final conference of the IN STREAM project will take place on 27 & 28 September, 2011, in Brussels.

ESDN "Policy meets Research" – Workshop on Sustainable Mobility
The European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN) invites interested persons to the second workshop of the sustainable mobility series of the FP7-funded project CORPUS, to be held from 6-7 October, 2011, in Szentendre, Hungary. The project CORPUS focuses on sustainable production and consumption (SCP) issues and addresses the policy-makers’ needs in the decision-making process. The workshop will address policies, policy instruments and policy assessment for sustainable mobility.

Eco-City Innovation: Integrated Systems Management & Policy Coordination
As part of the ESRC Research Seminar Series "The Governance of Eco-City Innovation", a seminar on "Integrated Systems Management and Policy Coordination" will take place on 11 October, 2011, in London. The event brings together researchers and practitioners to reflect on integration in contemporary international eco-city developments.

IGS - SENSE Conference: Resilient Societies – Governance Risk and Vulnerability for Water, Energy and Climate Change
The conference, to be held from 19-21 October, 2011, in Twente, Netherlands, aims at bringing together academics, experts and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines to discuss governance solutions to make societies more resilient. The aim is to link theory and practice to create a knowledge bridge to exchange ideas and strategies which can contribute to resilient societies. This conference seeks searching for solutions for meeting the challenges of sustainable management of natural resources and creation of resilient societies to tackle the needs of dealing with climate change, water shortages and meeting energy requirements.

Conservation and Management of Forests for Sustainable Development: Where Science Meets Policy
In the International Year of Forests, the key objective of this science to policy conference, to be held from 23-24 November, 2011, in Leuven, Belgium, is to identify how science can contribute to improved ecosystem services of forests for the benefit of the people. Through its programme and final memorandum, the conference aims to contribute to the on-going European policy processes, in particular the review of the EU Forestry Strategy, the Green Paper on Forest Protection and Information of the EU, and the EU FLEGT and REDD facilities.

2011 Belgian Biodiversity - Public Health Conference
The Belgian Biodiversity Platform organizes a conference on the natural relation between biodiversity and public health. The conference aims at capacity building, gathering a diversity of scientific and policy experts with relevant knowledge and the interest to build further knowledge. The event will take place on 30 November, 2011, in Brussels.

Congress of the East Asian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics
The East Asian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (EAAERE) is conducting its 2nd Annual Congress in Bandung, Indonesia, on 2-4 February, 2012. The association invites the submission of abstracts on theoretical or empirical work in any area of resource and environmental economics and management for consideration for the Congress Programme.

3rd German Environmental Sociology Summit - Innovation and Sustainability: Beyond Technology
The German Sociological Society’s Section on Environmental Sociology and the Institute for the Analysis of Society and Policy at the Goethe University Frankfurt/Main in cooperation with the Institute for Social-Ecological Research Frankfurt (ISOE) are pleased to announce the Third German Environmental Sociology Summit in Frankfurt on Main (Germany), November 16 to 18, 2011.

Beyond Efficiency: Exploring the Political and Institutional Dimensions of Market-based Instruments for Ecosystem Services
The Ecosystem Services Research Group at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Ökoinstitut e.V. have issued a call for papers for the International Workshop "Beyond Efficiency - Exploring the Political and Institutional Dimensions of Market-based Instruments for Ecosystem Services" to take place from 13-14 March, 2012. The organisers invite abstracts for papers that discuss market-based policy instruments in environmental governance and, more specifically, in the provision of ecosystem services.

Planet Under Pressure Conference
Abstracts are invited for the 2012 "Planet Under Pressure" conference which will take place in London from 26-29 March, 2012. They can be submitted using the online form until 19 August, 2011. The major themes of the conference will be: A. Meeting global needs: food, energy, water and other ecosystem services, B. Transforming our way of living: development pathways under global environmental change, C. Governing across scales: innovative stewardship of the Earth system.

International Symposium on the Environment
A call for papers has been issued for the 7th Annual Symposium on the Environment, to be held from 15-17 May, 2012. The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars and students of environment from all disciplines such as engineering, biology, chemistry, geology, economics, geography, history, political science, communications, environmental health, environmental law & justice, government policy, etc. The call for papers is open until 24 October, 2011.

Policies

OECD Report: Towards Green Growth
Governments must look to the green economy to find new sources of growth and jobs. They should put in place policies that tap into the innovation, investment and entrepreneurship driving the shift towards a greener economy. Green growth makes economic as well as environmental sense. In natural resource sectors alone, commercial opportunities related to investments in environmental sustainability could run into trillions of dollars by 2050. The OECD Green Growth Strategy, and the new report, Towards Green Growth, provide a practical framework for governments to boost economic growth and protect the environment. "This report shows that green and growth can go together," said the OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

Brice Lalonde (UN coordinator for Rio+20 Summit) Suggests New Negotiations on Sustainable Development
Brice Lalonde, UN coordinator for the Rio+20 Summit, has suggested new negotiations in WTO-style to reach a binding agreement on sustainable develoment. In his opinion, WTO-style negotiation rounds on various issues could be a means to make progress on this important topic. This is due to the fact that Lalonde favours the creation of a new institution with binding authority over an upgrading of existing bodies such as UNEP.

EP Agriculture Committee Calls for Greener Agriculture in Europe
The agriculture committee of the European Parliament has called for greener agriculture in Europe. It expressed its view that in order to enhance its legitimacy among taxpayers, the CAP should be "equipped to provide food security and environmental protection, create new jobs and provide renewable energy". According to the committee, this implies keeping the EU's budget for the CAP unchanged in order to provide incentives for European farmers to meet the challenges ahead.

EEA: Recession and Renewables Cut Greenhouse Emissions in 2009
Greenhouse gas emissions decreased very sharply in 2009, by 7.1 % in the EU-27 and 6.9 % in the EU-15. These most recent results, compiled by the European Environment Agency (EEA), confirm estimates made by the EEA last year. This decrease was largely the result of the economic recession of 2009, but also sustained strong growth in renewable energy.

Policy Assessment on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development
The Earth System Governance Project has been mandated by the four global environmental change research programmes as organisers of the 2012 conference “Planet under Pressure”, to compile a fast-track policy brief of the state of research on the institutional framework for sustainable development. This assessment shall provide input from the scientific community to the international policy process leading to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

European Commission White Paper on Transport 2011
In mid June, the European Council discussed the White Paper on Transport that has been proposed by the European Commission earlier this year. The roadmap presented by the European Commission seeks to reduce emissions in transport by 60 percent until 2050. To achieve this, the goal until 2050 include: No more conventionally-fuelled cars in cities; 40% use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation; at least 40% cut in shipping emissions; a 50% shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport.

European Environment Agency on Quality of Environmental Reporting
According to the European Environment Agency, European countries have significantly improved their delivery of priority environmental data to the European Environment Agency since 2000. Environmental data reported by countries, such as air emissions, air quality, water quality and protected areas data, is essential for understanding, and responding to, environmental change. Country scoring corresponds to the quality of the data made available and the timeliness of their delivery. In 2000, the average score for European countries was 45 % while only three countries scored above 70 %. For 2010-2011, the average score rose to 80 % while almost two-thirds of the countries achieved or exceeded this threshold.

European Commission Has Published Communication on Rio+20 Conference
The European Commission has recently published a communication on the forthcoming Rio+20 conference. It outlines objectives and specific actions on the transition to a green economy and better global governance for sustainable development, the two key themes of the forthcoming UN Summit. The document lays the basis for further dialogue between the European Commission, Council and Parliament, individual countries, civil society and business in the run-up to Rio+20, before a consolidated EU position is submitted to the UN in the fall of this year.

IHDP Annual Report 2010 Published
The Annual Report 2010 provides a comprehensive overview of IHDP’s mission and objectives as well as an extensive update on the latest activities and progress of IHDP’s global research network, its projects and partners. One of the most substantial innovations introduced with this report is a summary of key findings and recommendations provided by IHDP projects, addressing a broad range of vital issues such as food security and human health.

Survey on European Citizens’ Attitudes to the Environment
The European Commission has published its latest Eurobarometer survey on public opinions on environmental issues. It finds that over 90 per cent of European citizens consider the environment to be an important issue. Their top concerns include man-made disasters, water pollution and climate change. Sixty per cent of citizens feel generally well informed about the environment. However, they lack information on chemicals, GMOs, agricultural pollution, water pollution, natural resources depletion and loss of biodiversity. It is widely felt that all actors (e.g. the EU, citizens themselves, national governments and industry) could be doing more to use natural resources more efficiently.

European Commission Publishes Proposals for a New EU Budget
On 29 June, 2011, the European Commission presented its proposals for the next Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) covering the period 2014-2020. A Communication consisting of two parts setting out the main direction of the proposal was accompanied by legislative proposals including a Regulation adopting a new MFF, and inter-institutional agreement on budgetary matters and sound financial management, and a Decision on ‘own resources’. These proposals follow a review of the EU budget which has been widely debated since September 2007. The Commission proposes to continue to deal with climate change and the environment as a cross-cutting issue.

Training

Internships at Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan, is seeking for research interns for fall/winter 2011 for students obtaining advanced degrees. A number of research groups are currently recruiting interns. The research interns will collect information for, or draft documents related to, their own research group. Interns must be postgraduates and willing to learn from the on-the-job-training at IGES. The internship is not a training programme for students to write an individual thesis, but rather an opportunity to experience real strategic policy research and operational activities.

Certificate of Advanced Studies in Management of Development Projects
The application process has opened for the "Certificate of Advanced Studies in Management of Development Projects". The course consists of an e-learning phase, followed by a two week full-time seminar in Bangalore, India and a personal project. The course is structured in three parts, all which are compulsory, taking place between October 2011 and May 2012.

Summer School: The Human Animal - Scientific, Social and Moral Perspectives
The Summer School, to be held from 1-6 August, 2011, in Heidelberg, Germany, will explore how new know-how and technologies emerging from the biological sciences are forcing us to re-examine our views of the human species, including the nature of rationality and the boundaries of being human. It is organized by faculty from three academic institutions: European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBL), European School of Molecular Medicine, and Harvard Kennedy School.

Environmental & Social Risk Analysis (ESRA) Online Course
The objective of the ESRA Online Course is to educate employees of local, regional and international financial institutions with a focus on emerging markets in the identification, analysis and management of environmental and social risks generated through their lending and investment activities. Each course is made up of five consecutive modules: Introduction to Sustainable Finance, Identification of Environmental and Social Risks, Categorization, Evaluation of Environmental and Social Risks, Administration of Environmental and Social Risks. Courses have a duration of 3 weeks and expect a time commitment of 2 hours per day from Monday to Friday.

Summer School: Advances in Discrete Choice Models and Experimental Design
The two week workshop, to be held from 29 August to 9 September, 2011, in Padua, Italy, covers introductory topics related to choice models, preference heterogeneity and design of Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs) (introductory week) and recent extensions of advanced discrete choice models, Best-Worst Scaling (BWS) and individual-level modelling (advanced topics). Hands-on examples allow participants to understand not just conceptual ideas, but also the mechanics of implementing the ideas in practical settings of policy making in energy and environmental resources.

Course: Evaluating Social Programmes
J-PAL Europe is organizing a five-day course, taking place from 12-16 September, 2011. The training will teach participants how to measure the effects of poverty programs scientifically and help shape better policies through the use of randomized evaluations. The course is designed for participants from a variety of backgrounds, including managers and researchers from governments, international development organizations and managers in non-governmental organizations from around the world.

Summer School: International and European Law & Policy on Investments and Environment - The Energy Challenge
The summer school, to be held from 19-24 September, 2011, in Venice, Italy, aims at offering an in-depth view on the multifaceted legal and economic aspects related to international investments and their environmental impact. This 2nd edition is focused on green energy. More information about the programme and how to apply is available on the summer school website.

IHDP Training Workshop on Asian Development Pathways
There is a call for applications for the International Human Dimensions Workshop, to be held in Nanjing, 17-21 October, 2011. This workshop is IHDP's biannual training programme, targeting early career scientists (from developing countries in particular) who are working on human dimensions of global environmental change research broadly defined.

Young Scientist Workshop at the International Water Week
The Young Scientist Workshop 'Water Challenges of Urbanisation', to be held from 31 October-4 November, 2011, during the International Water Week Amsterdam 2011 a scientific event for PhD students and international young professionals from the water industry and public organisations. The topic of the Workshop concerns the challenges of providing water systems in urbanizing areas, a cross-cutting topic covering water management, water supply, sanitation and spatial planning.

Links

The Manual of European Environmental Policy – Has Been Newly Updated
The "Manual of European Environmental Policy" provides analysis of over 500 Directives, Decisions and Regulations covering all fields of EU environmental policy including climate change, biodiversity, waste and resource use. The online text direct links to referenced legal texts, policy proposals and cases from the European Court of Justice and makes it easy to navigate the extensive body of EU environmental policy. The Manual is updated twice a year by an interdisciplinary team of experts from the Institute for European Environmental Policy and published by Taylor and Francis. A free online trail is available.

New ESDN Report on "Innovation and Sustainable Development: Linkages and Perspectives for Policies in Europe"
The main challenge towards the transition to greener, cleaner and more equitable economic growth is to address innovation not only from an economic, but also from a social and environmental dimension. The interface between innovation and sustainable development is however difficult to capture. This report aims to frame the discussion on innovation and sustainable development by outlining various recent concepts, approaches and paradigms, as well as assessing recent European initiatives and some examples of good practices at the national level, in the understanding and vision of innovation.

New Maps on Air Pollution from Different Sources
New online maps published by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency allow citizens to pinpoint the main diffuse sources of air pollution, such as transport and aviation. The new set of 32 maps shows where certain pollutants are released.

New IEA Report on Renewables in Power Generation
A new book from the International Energy Agency (IEA), "Harnessing Variable Renewables: a Guide to the Balancing Challenge", presents a novel method of assessing the resources needed to balance supply and demand in power systems with large shares of ‘variable’ renewables, such as solar photovoltaic, wind and tidal energy. The report, which features case studies of eight geographic regions with sharply different power attributes, shows that there is a greater technical potential for balancing variable renewable energy output than is commonly assumed.

New Online Forum by European Environment Agency
The European Environment Agency has launched a new online forum as part of its efforts to distribute environmental information as widely as possible. Participation is possible upon registration.

New Online Discussion Forum on International Environmental Governance and the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development
The "Earth System Governance Project" has created a new online discussion forum on international environmental governance and the institutional framework for sustainable development. It is meant to generate new ideas from academia and the policy community on how to advance the international debate with a view to the upcoming Rio+20 summit. Comments and contributions are very welcome.

Jobs & Funding

LIAISE - Linking Impact Assessment Instruments to Sustainability Expertise has received funding
under the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)
THEME 6 Environment (including Climate Change).
Grant agreement n. 243826.