Social aspects of environmental policy
Environmental, social and societal policies are closely linked. On the one hand, environmental policy measures frequently face resistance because they may entail or exacerbate actual or presumed social hardships. On the other hand, environmental burdens such as traffic noise or air pollution hit many already disadvantaged groups particularly hard. Ambitious environmental policies can therefore only succeed if their societal benefits are recognized and appreciated, and if conflicting goals are identified at an early stage and addressed within the framework of appropriate policy mixes.
The project pursues the overarching goal of contributing to the scientific foundation of a “social environmental policy strategy”. The research project focuses on the interactions between environmental and social policy objectives. The project team analyzes social aspects in different policy fields that are relevant to an environmental policy and identifies potential synergies and conflicts between ecological and societal goals. This knowledge shall then be used to find ways of reducing or constructively dealing with conflicting goals in order to make better use of synergies, to communicate them proactively and to actively create them. In this project, specific proposals are developed for the implementation of socially just transformation processes in various environmental policy fields of action.
For a social-ecological transformation, environmental policy measures are needed that are widely accepted by society. Prominent examples such as the coal phase-out or the end of the combustion engine show that such transformations entail great potential for conflict. They often face opposition, particularly in cases where entire industries or regions are affected by the consequences. A social environmental policy must therefore promote environmental, climate protection and sustainable development while simultaneously taking social policy goals into account. In addition to financial distribution and labor market effects, social participation, cohesion and empowerment play an important role.
The researchers first explore the social impacts of environmental policies and pressures through literature, discourse and trend analyses. Building on a systematics of social goals, they develop an analysis and evaluation approach with which to conduct status quo analyses in environmentally relevant fields of action. That way, knowledge gaps and needs for action can be identified.
ISOE’s contributions address the further development of the methodology that helps determine and evaluate social effects of environmental policy instruments from a social policy perspective. Taking the field “Building and Housing”, ISOE also analyzes trends, relevant actors, fields of discourse, lines of conflict and potential synergies between environmental and social policy goals. Based on this analysis, the scientists formulate proposals for solutions that can be translated into suitable environmental policy measures that are both ecologically ambitious and socially acceptable.
The project is flanked by dialogical and participatory events that involve stakeholders from the fields of environmental, social and societal policy. A transdisciplinary advisory board advises the research project. In a final step, the project results will be compiled and recommendations for policy action will be developed.
- Öko-Institut e.V. (project lead)
- Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft (FÖS) (Green Budget Germany)
- Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen
The research project “Social Aspects of Environmental Policy – Subproject 1: Analysis and Environmental Policy Implications” is funded by the German Environment Agency.
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- BioKompass – Communication and participation for the societal transformation towards bioeconomy
- CapTain Rain – Capture and retain heavy rainfalls in Jordan
- Climate CO2NTEST – Acceptance and impact of the competition in the Hanover region
- Conflicts over the forest of the future
- ecobiente - Designing Sustainable Goods more Succesfully
- EiMap – Communication strategy promoting energy-efficient refurbishment during the home purchasing process
- Electromobility for the Darmstadt-Rhine-Main-Neckar Region
- Environmental awareness in Germany 2020
- EUPOPP - Political Strategies and Tools to Promote Sustainable Consumption
- Expert report on the carbon balance of forests
- GeisTreich – Geisenheim Transfer Program for Biodiverse and Multifunctional Viticulture
- Gender Impact Assessment in Radiation Protection and Environment
- Germany under Climate Change
- Homes-uP – Single Family Homes under Pressure?
- IndUK – Individual environmental action and climate protection
- JET-SET - Emissions Trading as Social-Ecological Transformation Process
- KlimaAlltag – low carbon lifestyles in the zero emissions city
- KomKlAn – Status and Progress of Municipal Climate Adaptation in Germany
- LivingSpaces – Instruments for a needs-orientated usage of the housing stock in municipalities
- LogMob – Impact assessment of an integrated logistics and mobility concept for the German Protestant Church Congress
- NaHa – Sustainable Practices in the Workplace and in Everyday Life
- Perception and Acceptance of the Ecolabel “Blue Angel”
- PlaNE – Planetary Health and Sustainable Nutrition
- PowerFlex – integrating the heating and cooling sector into the electricity market model PowerFlex
- RARE - Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe
- SuPraStadt – Quality of life, participation and resource conservation through social diffusion of sufficiency practices in urban neighbourhoods
- Sustainability Audit
- Synergies between environmental and social policy
- Transdisciplinarity in climate change adaptation research
- TRI-HP – Trigeneration systems based on multiple renewable sources
- WissTransKlima – Knowledge transfer for better climate adaptation in municipalities