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Environmental Policy in the 21. Century – Approaches for Overcoming New Challenges

Principal Investigator:

Umweltbundesamt (UBA)

Project partners: Eco-Institute, Albert’s-Ludwig’s-University Freiburg, Erhard Karl’s University Tubingen, German Institute for Development Policy, IFOK

The institutionalization and efficacy of environmental policies showed considerable achievements in Germany in past years and decades. On a regular basis, environmental policy issues are high on the agenda and they have gained a firm standing among different policy areas - despite certain prognoses.

Environmental policy managed to enforce environmental improvements especially concerning selective challenges, such as emissions in certain industries, and succeeded in combining them with economic needs. By way of contrast, there are challenges that have not been addressed yet. For instance, areas such as climate change, resource policy and biodiversity show significant deficits.

Against this background, the project „Environmental Policy in the 21. Century – Approaches for Overcoming New Challenges“ pursues two aims: firstly, to define and explain blind spots and deficits of the environmental policy in the 20th century. In doing so, an overview of central environmental and sustainability patterns of arguments will be generated and assessed regarding their legitimacy for new environmental policies. These will be illustrated in an „environmental and sustainability policy map of discourse“. Secondly, based on the analysis of passed environmental policies the overall aim of the project is to clarify main ideas, concepts and strategies for an effective and ethically grounded environmental and sustainability policy in the 21st century on the basis of which a sustainable development can be achieved in both, countries of the global North and South. Hence, the project encompasses analytical as well as conceptual aims: Based on the „environmental and sustainability policy map of discourse“ contextual and strategic recommendations for the formulation of an environmental and sustainability policy in the 21st century will be developed. These recommendations are guided by

-          Ethically justified main ideas for environmental policy

-          Contentual, strategic and procedural goals of environmental policy

-          Future relevant environmental and sustainability topics

-          Strategic approaches of action and the roles of different actors

-          Options for the transformation of organisational forms and responsibilities