Despite COVID, climate change and the zero-carbon transition are still high on the agenda of societies, companies and governments in the EU and also Germany. The EU is progressing with its European Green Deal plan in order to significantly accelerate the speed of the economic transition. But can the EU and Germany maintain a high transition speed in the years to come? Or is there a substantial likelihood, other issues may squeeze the climate agenda out of the top priorities, governments and businesses take care of? In his article "Germany's Green Transition: Will It Continue?" Oldag Caspar analyses this question for the leading Russian foreign policy think tank Valdai Club.
This year will be key for future climate policy and especially for sustainable finance in Germany and Europe. Sustainable Finance plays a crucial role in improving climate protection and sustainable growth. To this end, Germanwatch joined forces with the Alliance for Corporate Transparency in order to push towards greater corporate responsibility and disclosure requirements to meet the EU and Paris climate targets. In the second article of our briefing series "Full Disclosure: Monthly Briefing on EU Corporate Transparency Regulation", we aim to shed light on the revision the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive carried out by the European Commission.
Many people in Europe are willing to shift from air to rail - even for international travel and often even if they have to accept significantly longer travel times. This is shown by a new representative survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov in Germany, Poland, France, Spain and the Netherlands. The survey, commissioned by Transport&Environment and Germanwatch, was published to mark the official start of the European Year of Rail 2021 on March 29.
On 29 March, the Portuguese EU Council presidency officially launches the European Year of Rail. Germanwatch and other European NGOs have send an open letter to the Commission and the Portuguese presidency to call for a European rail renaissance. The EU and the member state governments need to use the European Year of Rail 2021 to give a boost to cross-border passenger rail, with the following measures:
This year will be key for future climate policy and especially for sustainable finance in Germany and Europe. Sustainable Finance plays a crucial role in improving climate protection and sustainable growth. To this end, Germanwatch joined forces with the Alliance for Corporate Transparency in order to push towards greater corporate responsibility and disclosure requirements to meet the EU and Paris climate targets. This article kicks off and introduces our briefing series "Full Disclosure: Monthly Briefing on EU Corporate Transparency Regulation", in which we aim to shed light on the need for and benefits of forward-looking reporting requirements in a changing EU regulatory environment.
The energy transition requires a restructuring of the energy system and, as a result of decentralisation, also increasing digitalisation to integrate all actors and make them more flexible. However, digitalisation can be shaped and should happen under ecological and social premises. In this paper we present the challenges and evince possible solutions.
In order for the socio-ecological transformation to succeed, actors from civil society, politics, the private sector and academia must work together at an eye level to develop common goals and cooperate to achieve them. This is where the concept of multi-actor partnership (MAP) comes in: Based on the assumption that committed cooperation leads to viable solutions, multi-actor partnerships must take into account and take seriously the complex interests of the actors involved and affected. Thus, they are much more than just a consultation round of different partners. The analysis and the recommendations derived from it are based on the experience gained by local partners in tandem with Germanwatch in seven MAPs in the field of climate, energy and just transformation in different country contexts.
As a response to the Covid-19 crisis the EU has agreed on a historic recovery package of 750€ Billion, which includes funds for EU member states. In order to apply for financial support, EU member states need to provide Recovery and Resilience Plans. They may take into consideration country-specific recommendations, developed annually to address macroeconomic imbalance issues among EU Member States as identified within the European Semester.
In the last year, the German government held intense and controversial discussions on the introduction and design of national due diligence regulation. However, environmental aspects of corporate due diligence were given little attention. By contrast, the debate at European level is already much more progressive. On January 27, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament explicitly recommended the inclusion of independent environmental due diligence requirements in a future European due diligence legislation.
To this date, environmental due diligence has hardly been integrated into legislations and it is not yet as concrete as UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are in regard to human rights concerning responsibilities of corporations. Human rights due diligence captures environmental destruction when it is directly linked to human rights violation like a toxic spillage, which directly causes death or health issues.