There is a new EU public consultation on the development of a comprehensive, integrated Research, Innovation, and Competitiveness Strategy for the Energy Union, with policy fields research and innovation, Energy, Climate change, Transport, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Find out why it is required and why they need your answer and where to submit your opinions by reading on.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone out there.
In the news / New articles / Conference and seminar annoucements / Open positions
- EC Public Consultation on the Circular Economy from 28.05.2015 to 20.08.2015
As you may know, the EC withdrew some waste legislation in order to introduce a (hopefully) more ambitious approach, which would be in line with the Circular Economy ideas. Thus, in order to do so, the EC is now undertaking a public consultation on what everyone thinks should be included or the target of a Circular Economy approach by the EC in the future. Have your say HERE.
- A discussion of the global energy subsidies seen at env-econ.net. They are estimated to be at (post-tax energy subsidies) $5.3 trillion (6.5 percent of global GDP) in 2015, with coal accounting for the biggest subsidies. Important: these energy subsidies include the externalities that these energy sources produce, e.g. CO2 emissions in the case of goal/gas. Thus, they are not the direct subsidies that governments provide.
- seminars/conferences this week:
Tuesday, 2nd June, 5pm, IPAG, 27 rue de l’Université, Paris; Yacoub Bahini will present his article entitled “On the Transition from nonrenewable energy to renewable energy”, co-authored with Cuong le Van.
Thursday, 4th June, whole day, Ministère de l’Ecologie du Développement Durable et de l’Energie, 246 Bd Sain‐Germain, Paris; Les enjeux économiques de la conférence de Paris-climat 2015: detailed programme http://www.chaireeconomieduclimat.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/15-05-18-programme-4-juin-CEC-TSE.pdfThursday, 4th June, room S/17 in the annex of the Maison des Sciences Economiques, Lunch séminaire : Economie de l’Environnement, Julien Wolfersberger (Chaire Economie du Climat & INRA-LEF) will present a paper entitled `Growth, green capital and public policies’
- conference annoucement: International Congress for Sustainable Development, Istanbul, Turkey,
Conference Dates: Nov 5, 2015 to Nov 8, 2015; Deadline for paper submissions: Jun 20, 2015; Deadline for participant registration: Sunday, October 25, 2015
One topic I am particularly interested in is ecolabels, basically the labeling of products to ascertain their environmental standards. In this respect, the European Commission is now launching a Public Consultation on ecolabels entitled “Evaluation of the Implementation of the EU Eco-label Regulation”.
They question policy makers, stakeholders, producers and consumers about their views on the EU Ecolabel. I urge everyone to reply to their survey, which you can do via this link: http://www.survey-ecolabel.eu/cms/. It should take roughly 5 minutes to reply. This is your opportunity to help shape legislation in Europe.
One of the more interesting questions in the survey was this: “Is it beneficial to have a set of common requirements in the pursuit for a single market for green products across Europe in the form of the EU Ecolabel?”
Clearly, one issue with the whole ecolabel business right now is the huge diversity of ecolabels and the differences in their requirements. They increase the uncertainty of the consumer and at the same time help producers to sell their products by apparently attaching an ecolabel to them but with potentially very weak requirements. This is, however, simply weakening ecolabels altogether. Given the range of products and labels available, policy makers cannot expect consumers to take the significant amount of time needed to study the various ecolabels that are out there. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that consumers, faced with this uncertainty, may simply turn to pricing decisions again since the ecolabel loses its product differentiation character. Hence, standards/regulations should be applied uniformly.
Interested readers in cars and ecolabeling can take a look HERE, those interested in ecolabeling more generally can look HERE (in German). Those interested in some academic work on ecolabels can look HERE.