The DYNAMIX project has entered its final stretch of assessing promising policy mixes in support of a resource efficient and circular European economy fostering decoupling of resource use and environmental impacts from EU economic growth. Recent project findings obtained since the 3rd DYNAMIX newsletter include qualitative ex-ante assessments of potential economic, environmental (forthcoming in January 2016), legal, public acceptance and social impacts linked to the DYNAMIX policy mixes. Reports on simulations of the policy mixes in socio-economic and environmental models will complement the ex-ante assessment in February 2016.
We are excited to announce that a joint final DYNAMIX-POLFREE conference, “Policy mixes promoting resource efficiency for a circular economy” will take place on 15-16 February 2016 in Brussels. We will be discussing project findings in the light of the currently released new Circular Economy Package
Thus, we hope to contribute to more ambitious resource policy and to foster ongoing discussions and developments towards greater resource efficiency, circularity of options of decoupling.
We hope that this newsletter will encourage you to follow-up on our project and exchange with our researchers - we are looking very much forward to that!
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and positive new year 2016!
With kind regards,
the DYNAMIX team
In this newsletter
1. Economic assessment of DYNAMIX policy mixes - report published
The ultimate goal of the DYNAMIX project is to formulate a comprehensive mix of consistent policies that has the concrete potential to bring the EU on a path leading to absolute decoupling of resource use and economic growth by 2050, for a selected group of key resources. Through a careful design process, the DYNAMIX team has identified a number of promising policies, which are grouped in three distinct policy mixes (an overarching policy mix, a policy mix for land use and a policy mix for metals and other materials). There is no ex-ante guarantee, however that these policies will have the intended effects in the real world. For this reason, passing the policy mixes through a rigorous ex-ante assessment process can help identifying issues, which may hinder the implementation and the success of certain policies. The main results of the qualitative assessment of the potential economic impacts of the suggested policy mixes can be found here.
The analysis focused on three key areas of social impacts: labour market, health, and social inclusion. The report contains discussion and separate assessments of policy instruments for each of these areas. This approach helps to identify and highlight horizontal social challenges that decoupling policies are facing. These are, in particular, significant necessary reallocation on the labour market, decrease in marginal positive health effects of decoupling policies over time, and disproportionate burden of both market and command and control measures on the low-income households. These challenges should, however, be compared with the risks of inaction, which in longer term are likely to lead to even higher, perhaps uncontrollable social impacts. The report concludes with general observations and pointers for revisions of the assessed policy mixes. The report can be found here.
This report aims to provide a first estimate of the legal feasibility and implementability of the selected instruments of the DYNAMIX policy mixes. It is based on the status quo of the international and European legal provisions with a focus on competition and trade law as these provisions are obstacles potentially interfering with or counteracting the policy mix set-up for achieving decoupling. This is followed by suggestions for possible adjustments in the formulation and design of the instruments as well as the policy mixes. The legal assessment report can be found here.
This report presents the outcomes from the assessment of public acceptability of the policy packages as proposed within the DYNAMIX project. It forms part of the DYNAMIX project’s larger ex-ante policy assessment of the environmental, social, economic, legal and public acceptability implications of implementing a number of policy packages that seek to achieve absolute decoupling by 2050. An important element underlying the analysis is reference to paradigms in the design and reconfiguration of the policy packages to alter the basis of public acceptability. Theoretical pathways for paradigm change are used to map-out pathways of interactions and inform policy sequencing in a way that can lead to the required paradigm changes over time. The approach used to assess public acceptability has been to reference previous relevant public discourses, as a means of understanding how the public would likely respond if the policy were to be proposed in the real world. This approach helps identify where public concerns lay, and therefore where thresholds in public acceptability exist. Mitigations are then proposed to ensure that EU-wide implementation is feasible. Initial assessments suggested that, of the 14 policies that underwent full assessment, 7 required mitigation. The report concludes by identifying where these early policies may lay the ground for more far-reaching policies to be considered. The report can be found here.
Should meat consumption be taxed? Should the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy objectives be radically changed? At this Expo 2015 event, visitors could experience first-hand the kind of complex issues that policy makers are likely to face in the upcoming years in light of the environmental impact from food production and consumption. Researchers from DYNAMIX gave insights into the project’s first results obtained from the assessment of the impacts of selected policy mixes on agri-food markets, land use and the environment. The attendees had a chance to discuss policy proposals and to put forward their own suggestions. For more information on the plenary session and the general discussion, the minutes of the event can be found here.
The workshop "Resource efficiency and the circular economy: policy mixes and scenarios" was held at the World Resource Forum in Davos. Its goal was to present and discuss policies and their potential effectiveness for achieving radical improvements in resource efficiency in Europe by 2050, focusing on the promotion of a circular economy and absolute decoupling of resource use and environmental impact from economic activity. The workshop brought together insights on this topic from two nearly-complete European Framework 7 projects – DYNAMIX and POLFREE. Both have been taking a complementary approach to the question of which policy mixes could make the European economy more resource efficient. Obviously decoupling and promoting a circular economy are important parts to the answer to that question. The presentations given by scientific staff from both projects can be found here.
The webinar presented the DYNAMIX results on policy mix assessments for resource efficiency. Webinar participants discussed the challenges facing policy implementation and potential linkages and conceptual relations between resource and a circular economy. It was agreed that circular economy will be and remain an essential part of any ambitious resource policy that aims at increasing resource efficiency in the wide understanding of the EU's Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe. Furthermore, potential links between project results and current policy issues were addressed, such as the processes around the revision of the Circular Economy Package. A list of the participants, the agenda and content can be found here.
Both sister projects DYNAMIX and POLFREE will come to a close in March 2016 after 3.5 years of intensive research and analysis. At the joint final conference, main results and messages from the research outcomes on policy mixes for a resource efficient EU are presented. The conference will take place in Brussels on 15-16 February 2016. We would like to invite you to this unique opportunity to learn from two major research projects and their findings on policy mixes for resource efficiency, networking with a large pool of experts and practitioners from all over Europe, and taking part in a high-level debate to link science-based evidence to the upcoming Circular Economy Package. The draft agenda and registration information can be found here.