Global Challenges and Solutions

Our Work

The EU’s imprint on both the global environment and on environmental policy has been sizeable. It is expected to remain important in the years ahead, even as major economic players and new political dynamics emerge. How should Europe’s role evolve in a changing world? What has Europe got to offer and to learn? How can its own policies align better to global imperatives? We seek to explore these questions from nearly forty years of experience of policy making in the EU and its Member States.

EU policies have both global aspirations and implications. The EU aims to support sustainable development in third countries through its external policies and assistance programmes. At the same time a range of EU policies (trade, energy, agriculture and fisheries etc.) have direct and indirect impacts on land-use, natural resources and ecosystems as well as on the pattern of economic development at the global scale. While EU policies can – and indeed should - promote environmental and social good practice and avoid precipitating damage beyond its borders, the Union can also learn from other countries’ experiences and approaches to addressing environmental challenges.

IEEP’s work in this sphere focuses on the global dimension and external impacts of EU policies, both positive and negative alike. We aim to support the development of environmental and environment-related policies with global implications as well as feed into relevant international processes and discussions. These include follow up to the Rio+20 Conference and the development of Sustainable Development Goals for the post-2015 period. Our key areas of work include addressing the global challenge of biodiversity conservation, mobilising finance to support a shift towards a sustainable global green economy, addressing the global environmental impacts of EU policies, and enhancing environmental policy dialogues with Europe’s neighbours and partners.


Latest in Global Challenges and Solutions

  • IEEP at CBD COP13: Europe’s experience with innovative financing mechanisms for biodiversity conservation

    IEEP’s work on innovative financing for EU biodiversity conservation was presented in Cancun, Mexico at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

  • Limits to the circular economy?

    The transition to a circular economy is a priority for Europe and an opportunity for many businesses. There is need for scrutiny amongst policy makers to ensure that ecological and socio-economic objectives are met.

  • How can Planetary Boundaries guide environmental policy in Europe and globally?

    Planetary Boundaries are a scientific approach to exploring critical thresholds to resource use. How can this concept become relevant for policymakers?

  • Greening taxes and subsidies in the Pacific

    IEEP will share its expertise on environmental taxation and the reform of environmentally harmful subsidies at a forum event on greening taxation and subsidies in the Pacific region during the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.

  • Gough Island in danger – IEEP assessment of World Heritage Site

    IEEP assessed threats to Gough and Inaccessible Island World Heritage Site on behalf of the RSPB. The report brings together evidence that globally important seabird colonies and endemic species are under threat of extinction from invasive alien species, especially predatory house mice, and that the proposed mouse eradication programme should proceed as quickly as possible.

  • Beyond GDP Newsletter – December 2015 edition out now

    The latest edition of the Beyond GDP newsletter explores indicators for a greener economy and for green growth.

  • Volkswagen: Painful Lessons

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available. David Baldock discusses Volkswagen and lack of implementation and compliance across EU environmental policy in general. Also: greening of the CAP; Marine Protected Areas; and LULUCF.

  • Beyond GDP Newsletter – August 2015 Edition Available Now

    This edition of the Beyond GDP Newsletter explores the Social Progress Index and discusses approaches to using social indicators in the context of EU economic governance.

  • Looking beyond Paris

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available. David Baldock argues that in the next six months the EU has a substantive role in contributing to agreement on an ambitious but credible set of SDGs and more stretching climate targets. Also: energy efficiency and security; bioeconomy; and circular economy.

  • New IEEP Programme on the Green Economy

    IEEP strengthens its focus on the Green Economy with a new dedicated programme, coming on stream as from May 1st.

  • Beyond GDP Newsletter – March 2015 edition out now

    The latest edition of the Beyond GDP newsletter looks closely at the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) 2014 and discusses the challenges of developing sustainability indices.How might a ...

  • IEEP supporting the cross-Atlantic dialogue on Northern sustainable development

    An International Symposium on Northern development took place in Québec City from the 25 - 27 February 2015. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen was one of the Nordic experts invited to present at the event and take part in the high-level discussions.

  • New book on protected area governance and management

    The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) has published a new book on protected area governance and management. IEEP’s Marianne Kettunen played a key role in supporting the chapter on values and benefits of protected areas.

  • Nature and the green economy – IEEP contributing to China’s eco-civilisation drive

    IEEP’s Patrick ten Brink presented on Nature and its Role in the Transition to a Green Economy at the TEEB Multi-stakeholder International Workshop held on 21-22 January in Beijing, China. The talk contributed to current discussions in China on how decision-makers can better consider the multiple values of nature and ecosystems, with a focus on protected areas.

  • Evidence before ideology

    The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available. David Baldock argues that in 2015 solid evidence rather than political fashion will be required in scrutinising EU policy and economic performance. Also: fossil fuel subsidies; allocating fishing quota; and the launch of our new training programme.

  • Making green fiscal reform happen

    Overcoming obstacles to green fiscal reform is the subject of a new paper and blog by IEEP. The paper will be presented at the annual conference of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform in Venice next week.

  • The Manual: Front pages

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter provides information on the authors, editors and editorial board involved in the Manual, as well as guidance on how to use it, and a brief outline of its content.

  • Protected areas for water security - IEEP leads a session at IUCN World Parks Congress, Sydney

    Managing protected areas for biodiversity and water security has become a real concrete ‘win-win’ possibility. IEEP and IUCN WCPA session wraps up with a very positive note at IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney.

  • Environmental legislation and TTIP – looking into the detail

    New study from BIO by Deloitte, Ecologic and IEEP examines key differences in EU and US legislation in eight areas of relevance to the TTIP agreement.

  • IUCN World Parks Congress kicks off in Sydney

    The IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney started on Thursday supported by several high level addresses highlighting the global significance of protected areas.