Green Economy

Our Work

We cover a range of issues that bring economic analysis into policy making at the national, EU and global level. Our work focuses on different tools to support the transition to a green, resource efficient and circular economy including market-based instruments, cost and benefit assessments, sustainability indicators and environmental accounts. We also explore the role of nature in the transition to a green economy and are at the forefront of analysis of the economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Our research aims to support the integration of environmentally-sound economic signals in decision making, to encourage recognition of the true value of environmental resources and ecosystems.

The ‘green economy’ is one that pursues human progress without exceeding ecological thresholds, that ensures sustainability and simultaneously aims to reduce social disparities. Our work in this area has focused particularly on the policies and tools that are needed to support the transition to a green, resource efficient and circular economy, within the EU and internationally. There is a wide and expanding range of options.

We have examined marked based instruments to support the transition, including the use of environmental taxes and environmental tax reform (ETR), assessed the potential for reforming environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS) and explored the setting of incentives that reward environmentally progressive behaviour. Our work also aims to contribute to an improved understanding of the benefits and costs of environmental policy to provide an informed and balanced view to policy makers.

The analysis and assessment of the multiple benefits of nature to people, society and the economy is another focus of the team. Our work on assessing nature's multiple values seeks to support the integration of such values in decision-making and mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services in relevant policy areas (e.g. agriculture, cohesion, water). The Programme has made a substantial contribution to the important international initiative The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB).

Another area of our work is the development and uptake of indicators of sustainability which take account of environmental and social factors contributing to human well-being, going beyond measures of economic performance such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This runs in parallel with work on environmental-economic and natural capital accounts, exploring the use of such tools in policy. For example we have been supporting the European ‘Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services’ (MAES) process.

 

Latest in Green Economy

  • Assessing the social and economic benefits of protected areas in Europe

    A webinar on social and economic benefits of protected landscapes was organised by Europarc Atlantic Isles on 20 November. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen kicked off the event by a European overview and some key considerations of assessing benefits in practice.

  • Steps towards greening in the EU

    Despite some positive steps, further efforts are needed to achieve the transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient Europe.

  • Understanding and valuing ecosystem services provided by the Baltic Sea

    IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen outlined key perspectives on the valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services in a regional workshop on the Valuation of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services in the Baltic Sea, Stockholm (7-8 Nov 2013)

  • Four decades of EU environmental policy

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is out. Director David Baldock reflects on 40 years of EU environmental policy, plus an update on biofuels policy, costs and benefits of energy savings, developing Natural Captal accounts, and much more...

  • Evaluating international experiences with environmental tax reform

    Today, there is close to 25 years of experience with environmental tax reforms (ETR), with a growing number of countries engaging in ETR for various reasons. International experiences provide important insights on the design and implementation of ETR to facilitate more effective use of such instruments in the wider policy mix.

  • Sectoral resource mobilisation to implement global biodiversity targets

    There is an urgent need to find sufficient resources to enable developing countries to implement the global targets for biodiversity by 2020. Financing the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity from different sectoral funding flows can complement global biodiversity financing.

  • Reducing ship generated marine litter

    The Port Reception Facilities Directive requires ships to discharge their waste to dedicated port reception facilities in the EU, but illegal discharges at sea of ship generated waste still take place. This report recommends ways to improve the Directive.

  • Ecosystem services of boreal mires and peatlands in Finland

    Mire ecosystems are well-known for their unique species and habitats of high conservation value and they also provide a range of benefits to our societies and economies. This publication outlines the results of a pioneering project that aimed to identify and valuate ecosystem services provided by pristine mires and managed peatlands in Finland.

  • IEEP reports to the Science and Technology Options (STOA) Panel of the European Parliament

    Recycling for bioenergy and options for climate-resilient agriculture which benefits biodiversity: presentation to the Science and Technology Options Panel of the European Parliament

  • The Guide to Multi-Benefit Cohesion Policy Investments in Nature and Green Infrastructure

    Investments in nature and green infrastructure have helped meet Cohesion Policy objectives and vice-versa. This new guide presents some examples, tools and approaches making it a useful toolkit for stakeholders implementing Cohesion Policy up to 2020.

  • Study to analyse legal and economic aspects of implementing the Nagoya Protocol on ABS in the European Union

    This study provides technical support to inform the Commission’s Impact Assessment and consideration of initiatives at EU level on the ratification and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol by the EU and its Member States.

  • Subsidies with an impact on the environment - methodology, inventory and case studies

    The Flemish Government has initiated a broad project to develop an inventory of the most environmentally harmful subsidies in Flanders and establish plans for their phase-out as requested by the European Commission. This report by VITO and IEEP has been developed for the Nature and Energy Department of the Flemish Government and seeks to feed into this broader process.

  • New book coming soon: Social and Economic Benefits of Protected Areas

    A new book by IEEP researchers will be published on 15 August offering a comprehensive introduction to the socio-economic benefits of protected areas and providing step-by-step guidance on identifying, assessing and valuing the various benefits they provide.

  • Guidance manual for TEEB country studies - Version 1.0

    Co-authored by IEEP staff, the Manual is for anyone who is considering or currently undertaking a TEEB country study. Its purpose is to provide guidance throughout the entire TCS cycle, from initiation to policy analysis and ecosystem service valuations, communicating findings, and using results to support decision making.

  • Summer newsletter - CAP: Starting on a new track

    The latest edition of IEEP's quarterly newsletter is now available. Read how IEEP continues to push forward the future of biofuels policy, plus reactions to the latest CAP agreements, and much more…

  • Natural capital in a Nordic context

    A report for the Nordic Council of Ministers reviewing five different approaches to natural capital accounting and exploring their links with biodiversity and ecosystems.

  • Incorporating biodiversity and ecosystem service values into national strategies and action plans

    This guidance document has been prepared to support practitioners of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans to update their plans to incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem service values. Six in depth country case studies provide common lessons of good practice.

  • Webinar: Incorporating biodiversity into national strategies and action plans

    IEEP has just produced a roadmap and guidance document to help practitioners to incorporate biodiversity and ecosystem values into their NBSAPs. See case study examples and tune into the webinars on June 5 and 7.

  • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands

    This new IEEP-led report presents insights on the importance of wetlands in delivering ecosystem services that are needed to support human life, and also for people’s livelihoods and the world’s economies. The report shows that demonstrating and using the values of ecosystem services related to water and wetlands can lead to better informed, more cost-effective, and fairer decision- making.

  • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands

    This new IEEP-led report presents insights on the importance of wetlands in delivering ecosystem services that are needed to support human life, and also for people’s livelihoods and the world’s economies. The report shows that demonstrating and using the values of ecosystem services related to water and wetlands can lead to better informed, more cost-effective, and fairer decision- making.