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Green Deal - Big Deal?

The European Green Deal aims to revolutionise the way we live, work and play. In this podcast series we talk with experts from policy, business and science in order to unpack the plan and in its complexity. In a series of episodes, we highlight the significance of different measures by focusing on specific themes. We will talk about topics such as sustainable fashion, the future of cities and how our diets could look like in 2050. This podcast is produced by Ecologic Institute as part of the European Environment Initiative, funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). The Ministry supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. The contents of the podcast do not represent the views of the BMUV. Further information can be found on https://www.greendealbigdeal.eu/

Tracks

Decarbonizing buildings and transport - a new future for EU emissions trading
In the finale of "Green Deal – Big Deal?" Season 1 we dive deep into EU ETS2, the EU's expanded emissions trading system, now encompassing buildings and transport. Hosts Ewa Iwaszuk and Aaron Best are joined by Sibyl Steuwer from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe and Matthias Duwe of the Ecologic Institute to discuss the complexities of integrating buildings and transport into the EU’s emissions trading, exploring the challenges and opportunities this expansion presents.
40:14 3/19/24
Material world: Using resources sustainably in a time of planetary crises
In this episode of "Green Deal – Big Deal?", we tackle the complex world of natural resources, a topic that underpins many aspects of Europe's ambition for a green future. In conversation with guests Janez Potočnik, Co-chair of the International Resources Panel, and Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General of European Commission’s DG Environment, hosts Aaron Best and Ewa Iwaszuk discuss how the use of natural resources is closely linked to the climate and biodiversity crises, highlighting the global nature of resource use and its impacts.
51:02 2/26/24
Bringing creativity and beauty to Europe's green transition
In this episode of "Green Deal – Big Deal?" we discuss what mud houses, 3D printers and beauty have to do with Europe’s journey to becoming a climate-neutral continent. Specifically, we speak with Alina Ujupan, part of the team behind the European Commission’s New European Bauhaus Initiative, and Edouard Cabay, winner of a recent New European Bauhaus prize for… Spain’s first 3D printed building using earth. The New European Bauhaus Initiative integrates science, technology, art, culture and community participation to propose a sustainable, beautiful, and inclusive future for the European Union. Our guests discuss with hosts Ewa Iwaszuk and Aaron Best the critical role of creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing environmental and social challenges, highlighting the initiative's impact on urban and community development, policy, and investment in sustainable projects.
39:21 1/22/24
Ensuring a Just Transition to net-zero emissions
In this episode, we dive into the multifaceted nature of Just Transition, covering its environmental, economic, social, and political aspects. Podcast hosts Ricarda Faber and Aaron Best of Ecologic Institute are joined by guests Frank Siebern-Thomas, Head of Fair Green and Digital Transitions, Research Unit in DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission; and Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation. Our guests help us explore the concept of Just Transition, unpacking the concept itself and discussing the transition needs of workers and citizens across the EU. Listen in to hear about recent success stories, discover the key challenges, and learn more about the Just Transition policies taking shape in the EU and its Member States.
45:37 1/8/24
Europe's race to renewables - cheaper, vaster faster
The renewables race is on! Utility-scale solar photovoltaics and onshore wind are now the cheapest sources of new power in most countries. A 2022 report from the IEA projects renewables to cover 90% of global electricity growth in 5 years. At the same time, the EU aims for 42.5% renewable energy by 2040, fueled by the Renewable Energy Directive. In this episode, Ricarda Faber and Aaron Best of Ecologic Institute, interview guests Professor Johan Lilliestam of the Research Institute for Sustainability Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS) and Dr. Andrzej Ancygier of Climate Analytics. They shed light on the past, present and future of renewables in the EU, describing the major market shifts, policy events and technological developments that have made renewable energy one of the most exciting facets of achieving sustainability in Europe.
50:59 8/29/23
Nature Restoration Law: restoring Europe's ecosystems & protecting biodiversity
Our planet is experiencing a biodiversity crisis. And the problem across the EU is also severe, with more than 80% of habitats in the EU now in a bad or poor conservation status. To reverse this alarming trend, the European Commission has proposed the Nature Restoration Law, which aims to restore at least 20% of EU land and sea by 2030, and all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050.
47:19 5/2/23
The fight for better air quality in the EU
Air pollution has been a long-standing environmental problem in Europe. Though significant progress has been made, over 90% of the EU’s urban population is still exposed to air pollution levels exceeding the science-based guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO). The fight for better air quality in the EU is not over – and it’s a battle in which citizens can take an active part.
40:42 3/30/23
The European Green Deal symphony: conducting the net-zero transition
The journey to net-zero emissions requires thousands of different policy interventions at all sorts of different times and across all sectors. Similarly, an orchestra is made up of many different instruments - all of which have to play the same tune at the right time! The conductor makes sure that all these different instruments do exactly that. Likewise, a governance framework plays that role in climate policy: it makes sure that all the policies are playing the same tune, working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect and restore nature.
40:21 2/10/23
Fifty shades of green: sustainable finance and the EU taxonomy
How do we classify which investments are the right ones to power the transition to a climate and nature-friendly economy? This is a pretty big question, and one that is crucial to a successful implementation of the European Green Deal. The EU taxonomy – the subject of our latest episode - specifies the various criteria that investments will need to fulfill to be considered sustainable. In practice, the taxonomy is a long list of economic activities with benchmark performance standards.
34:50 12/19/22
From packaging to microplastics: unwrapping EU plastics policies
Since we learned how to produce plastic, humans have manufactured more than 8.3 billion tons of it – most of which ended up as a waste product, somewhere on the planet. This leads plastic waste to enter the landscape, rivers, beaches, and eventually ocean. We asked our listeners what, in their opinion, is the issue with plastic pollution. The answers ranged from negative impacts on human health and the environment to lack of recycling infrastructure and the global dimension of the plastics problem. So how can we possibly address a problem of this size? In the latest “Green Deal – Big Deal?” podcast episode, the host Ewa Iwaszuk and a guest co-host Linda Mederake from Ecologic Institute try to get to the bottom of the problem of plastic pollution, together with their interview guests Frieder Rubik (Institute for Ecological Economic Research) and Jean-Pierre Schweitzer (European Environmental Bureau) who share interesting information and perspectives regarding plastic pollution.
43:55 10/17/22
Beating the heat: Europe prepares for climate change impacts
In Europe and beyond, the summer of 2022 is hot. Very hot. A runway at a London airport melted in the heat and from Paris to Warsaw the grass in parks turned dry and yellow. The Rhine – the river flowing through Rotterdam, Köln and Strasbourg – is running dry. This is the same river that catastrophically flooded a year ago, destroying towns in Germany and Belgium. The impact of climate change on urban areas in Europe is unmistakable. On one of those days when the temperature hit 30 degrees, the “Green Deal – Big Deal?” podcast host Ewa Iwaszuk from Ecologic Institute in Berlin speaks with her guests about the climate change impacts in cities and especially about the EU's plans on how to adapt to and better deal with those impacts. The discussion focuses on the possibilities that nature offers to help us cope with challenges such as heat and flooding.
40:21 9/1/22
Farm to Fork: feeding a continent without wrecking a planet
Food production is a sector completely dependent on healthy environment and predictable climatic conditions. At the same time, modern agriculture is among the major contributors to climate and biodiversity crises. In the most recent episode of the “Green Deal—Big Deal?” podcast we ask our expert guests about the food systems approach adopted by the European Commission's “Farm to fork” strategy and investigate how the strategy will impact producers, consumers and the global food markets. We discuss strategies to address food waste and explore why meat is a politically sensitive topic.
45:23 8/2/22
Sustainability in style: circular fashion in the European Green Deal
Clothing is something that everyone, everywhere deals with every day. However its production has an enormous environmental footprint. In our current podcast episode we explore the concepts of circular and sustainable fashion and discuss the potential impact of the recently published European Union Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles.
40:52 6/9/22
It’s electric! The future of mobility in Europe.
To achieve the EU's goals, we need to rethink mobility from the ground up. This involves many aspects, including electric mobility, walking, cycling and public transport. The second episode of the “Green Deal – Big Deal?” podcast examines the challenges and issues that the mobility transformation needs to address, including environmental problems like climate change and air pollution. A special focus is on electrification and batteries, which are central to the mobility transformation.
39:29 5/10/22
European Green Deal - what is Europe trying to achieve and where are we now?
What is the European Green Deal, really? And how does the European Union plan to achieve its ambitious goals? In the first episode of our podcast we take a closer look at the European Green Deal with our two guests: Hans Bruyninckx and Åsa Persson.
42:23 4/6/22

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