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Indicators, reporting and sustainable development

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1 Indicators, reporting and sustainable development
International/Interagency Collaboration – Information Technology for Environmental Information & Environmental Data Exchange Network, EEA &EPA, USGS, CNR, JRC and UNEP Copenhagen, April 2002 Indicators, reporting and sustainable development David Stanners Programme Manager for strategic development & international cooperation European Environment Agency The European Environment Agency (EEA) is a European Community institution with the aim of serving the Community and the Member States with information to support policy making for environmental protection put in the perspective of sustainable development. We do that by collecting and assessing data on the current and foreseeable state of the environment. With the development in attention going from ‘environment’, to the environmental pillar in sustainable development’ to ‘environmentally sustainable development’ we are in a constant process of creating clear lines for our clients focusing on the essentials in the overload of environmental and sustainability information.

2 Outline Aim: to reflect on the background and approches to the indicator choices being made to help build a more relevant, effective, consistent and streamlined reporting system Environmental challenges and responses The role of indicators in the EEA’s work in support of the policy process 3. Indicator frameworks and typologies 4. Linking indicators to the policy process 5. A few thoughts on sustainability indicators

3 The final goal To develop a more robust, relevant, effective, consistent and streamlined set of indicators for tracking course towards a ”more sustainable” future……

4 help.... manage what you measure (indicators);
respond and be rewarded or penalised for those things which you can be held accountable (benchmarking); and, achieve what has been agreed (targets).

5 1. Environmental challenges
State of the environment Sectoral trends Responses – main policy processes

6 Overall, what do we see ? Tackling climate change
The environmental problems that are most difficult to solve persist Tackling climate change million tonnes CO2 equivalent 4500 EU15 greenhouse gas emissions 4000 3500 kyoto target 3000 2500 2000 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 Greenhouse gas emissions

7 Overall, what do we see ? (2)
The environmental problems that are most difficult to solve persist Protecting nature and bio-diversity from land take and use 120 115 forest land built-up area 110 length of road network 105 100 95 90 permanent grassland 85 1980 1990 1994 1998 Every day during , about 10 hectares of land (10 football pitches) were taken for motorway construction in the EU

8 Overall, what do we see ? (3)
The environmental problems that are most difficult to solve persist Sustainable management of waste and natural resources 600 waste generated 500 400 kg/per capita 300 200 waste landfilled 100 1990 1993 1995 1996

9 Overall, what do we see ? (4)
The environmental problems that are most difficult to solve persist Environment and health 40 Fine particles 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 Ozone 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 93 94 95 96 97 98 Air quality in urban areas (ozone and particulate matters)

10 Most issues intimately linked with energy consumption
A reflection of the overall scale of resource use mtoe 1000 services and agriculture 800 households 600 industry 400 200 transport 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998

11 Eco-efficiency and material flows
Positive trends in sectoral eco-efficiency have led to a decrease in total air polluting emissions GDP in billion US$ GDP in billion US$ 6000 6000 GDP GDP NH3 5000 5000 acid equivalents ktonnes TOFP equivalents ktonnes NOx SO2 1400 total 4000 4000 4000 CLRTAP target 2010 1200 3500 proposed NECD target 2010 3000 3000 3000 1000 CH4 2500 CO 800 NMVOC 2000 2000 2000 NOX 600 EU15(NOX+VOC) 1500 2010 CLRTAP target only NOX + VOC 400 The emission of acidifying gases has decreased 45% from 1980 to 1996, and 27% between 1990 and 1996, mainly due to the decrease in sulphur dioxide emissions in the energy and industry sector. The emission of ozone precursors decreased by 15% between 1990 and 1996, mainly due to less NMVOC emissions from industries and cars. The reduction of air pollutant emissions was possible due to the combination of end-of pipe measures, such as flue gas desulphurisation, catalysts on cars, and the change in the use of inputs, like the use of low sulphur coal and the switch from coal to natural gas. While an absolute decoupling occurred for the main air pollutants, this is not yet the case for energy use. A previous graph showed that the total use of energy has not decreased; between 1985 and 1997 it increased with 13% and it is still rising although not as fast as GDP. For material flows the situation appears better: An absolute decoupling has occurred between direct material inputs and GDP on the EU level, where we disregard all flows of materials between the individual countries. Between 1988 and 1995 the direct material input decreased in absolute terms by 6%. The main reason is a decrease of imports by the EU as a whole in the beginning of the nineties. Since 1993 the material inputs of most Member States have been increasing slightly, however. On the country level all trade, also imports and exports with other EU countries, are taken into account in calculating the direct material input. The considerable flow of materials between EU Member States changes the picture radically. Only Finland, France, Italy and the UK managed to combine production growth with a reduced Direct Material Input, which was mainly caused by less use of building materials (see slide below). In the other countries material inputs remained the same or increased, with a rise in GDP. 1000 1000 1000 200 proposed 2010 target NECD only NOX + VOC 500 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 Emissions of acidifying substances Emissions of ozone precursors

12 The challenge: evolving patterns and scale of consumption and production
Transport is constantly increasing and is a core activity of the tourism sector The number of inbound tourist visitors grew faster than total passenger transport 1980 =100 250 200 150 100 50 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 number of cars passenger-km population million tourists 300 250 200 150 100 50 1980 1985 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 Passenger transport Tourist arrivals

13 Country performance on selected indicators
ir po gr it fr es lu be sw dk au uk fi nl de climate change air emissions water quantity waste The result shows a division of countries into three groups for the selection of indicators used: Above average performers: Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the UK; Intermediate performers: Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg, and those countries that still have a lot to do: Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Although the classification is rough and the division into groups artificial, the general line of this country benchmarking is clear: Obviously, countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the UK have successfully implemented policy measures for the topics considered. It will be worthwhile to study what they have done, how much the costs were, and what it resulted in. Conversely, a closer look is needed on the characteristics of the problems in southern European countries, and the difficulties of moving forward. EEA’s regular indicator report provides the details to find out what is the reason for a certain place in the scorecard. For Portugal, for example, the increase in the emissions of most air pollutants, the increase in waste production and insufficient progress in recycling of specific waste flows are the main reasons for the relatively poor performance. The indicators used in this report give a clear signal to Ireland and the southern European countries that more needs to be done.

14 Headline Indicators = tool for awareness raising Keys
 Good progress towards meeting objective, improvement  No significant change, static  Movement away from objective, declining ? Insufficient data

15 2. The role of indicators in the EEA’s work in support of the policy process

16 The aim of EEA indicator reports is to provide signals:
on the integration of environmental policy into other policy fields on eco-efficiency and material flows on country performance on progress made and promises for the future Indicators are important because we can manage only what we can measure. And while critics may argue that indicators and targets are a far too simplistic response to complex issues, the reality is that they appear to work! At the EEA we face a constant challenge to prevent overload of information on the environment and sustainability, and indicators are a key tool for us in this regard since they distil data into a clear and accessible form.

17 The Policy Cycle policy preparation policy formulation
policy evaluation policy execution

18 What steps for sustainable decision making?
Sustainable development strategy (Gothenburg Summit, June 2001) Cardiff integration strategy (since April 1998) Lisbon Socio-economic process (since March 2000) 6th environmental action programme (still to be finally agreed) All include – reporting and indicators to measure & benchmark progress

19 The 'three corridors model' to follow progress in sustainable development
Strategy for Sustainable Development (Gothenburg Summit June 2001 to RIO+10 June 2002) Structural Indicators Lisbon agenda (socio-economic policies) ('Synthesis report' to Stockhom summit, March 2001) Sectoral integration ind. Sectoral strategies & action programmes (Economic councils for Gothenburg Summit June 2001) Issue indicators Environmental action plan (Env council, 6EAP for Gothenburg 2001 and specific development plans) Integrated Monitoring and reporting

20 EU Indicator architecture (tentative number of indicators per group)
sectoral indicators n x 30 env. issue indicators ~100 env. issue headline indicators 10 sectoral headline indicators (n x 3) structural indicators 30 Assuming that policy developers in the EU aim at a rational and efficient set of policies we may expect that under the sustainable development strategy a number of interlinked and mutually supporting policies will emerge. Clear structures are needed to communicate to policy makers how the information that we provide is related to policy processes and to make clear what type of information serves which process. For that purpose, clusters of environmental indicators are being developed. Spring Council indicators 36

21 The EEA focus for indicators in support of the policy process
Indicators and the 6th Environmental Action Programme Indicators and the integration strategies Monitoring progress with the Sustainable Development Strategy – indicators for the “Synthesis report” and Spring Councils

22 Priorities under the EC’s 6th Environmental Action Programme (6EAP)
Limiting climate change Nature and biodiversity – protecting a unique resource Environment and health & quality of life Ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and wastes

23 The 6EAP seeks to develop
...ex ante evaluation of the possible impacts of new policies ...ex post evaluation of the effectiveness of existing measures in meeting their environmental objectives

24 Indicators and the integration strategies
Agriculture ) Environmental Transport ) Impacts Energy ) Supply/demand Tourism ) Eco-efficiency Fisheries ) Subsidies Households ) Prices Industry ) Externalities

25 Göteborg European Council, 15-16 June 2001 Presidency Conclusions
”...agrees a strategy for sustainability development which..... adds a third, environmental dimension to the Lisbon strategy and establishes a new approach to policy making.”

26 Göteborg conclusions on sustainable development
Four priority areas singled out for future policy development (based on SDS, 6EAP, sector strategies): Climate change, Transport Public health Natural resources [The other SDS priorities are: social exclusion and poverty, demography and ageing, clean energy (with climate change), mobility and land use.]

27 Göteborg conclusions cont...
”the Commission will evaluate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy, in its annual synthesis report, on the basis of a number of headline indicators... ”Starting from Spring 2003, the Commission will begin covering the candidate countries and their national policies in its annual synthesis report.”

28 Possible indicators for the Spring European Council published by the Commission on 30/10/2001
Six indicators each for: General Economic background I. Employment II. Innovation III. Economic reform IV. Social Cohesion Six indicators for environment: V. Environmental aspects of Sustainable Development 1. Greenhouse gas emissions 2. Energy intensity of the economy 3. Volume of transport (tonnes and passenger km) relative to GDP 4. Modal split of transport 5. Urban air quality 6. Municipal waste

29 List of indicators to be developed under Environment chapter of Commission publication 30/10/01
Consumption of toxic chemicals Disability-free life expectancy Biodiversity Resource productivity Recycling rate of selected materials Generation of hazardous waste

30 3. Indicator frameworks and typologies
A typology of questions and indicators The assessment framework and the role of indicators in the policy life cycle

31 Indicators are chosen to answer policy questions
Type A: “How are pressures on the environment and how is the quality of the environment developing?“ Descriptive indicators Type B: “... and is that relevant/does it matter?” Performance indicators Type C: “Are we becoming more efficient in our economic processes?” Eco-efficiency indicators Type D: “What has been the effect of policy?" Policy-effectiveness indicators Indicators should not be solely presentations of statistics on the state of the environment but should form part of an analysis of progress made under the socio-economic and policy contexts. This means that as far as possible indicators should be developed as: ·  Performance indicators, linked to an agreed policy target ·  Efficiency indicators, which show the relationship to production and other economic variables ·  Policy effectiveness indicators, which show the effect of policy measures and structural developments. Some examples of these types of indicators are given below:

32 Descriptive indicator (Type A) Nitrate concentrations in different sized European rivers
This type of indicator allows for a key message such as:  Nitrate concentrations have not changed. The high concentrations in smaller rivers reflect the impact of agriculture

33 A Performance Indicator (Type B)
Emissions of ozone precursors, EU15 target This type of indicator allows for a key message such as:    Emissions of ozone-forming gases (ozone precursors) have fallen by 22 % since 1990, mainly due to introduction of catalysts on new cars. However, emission targets for VOCs and NOx set in the fifth environmental action programme have not been reached, and substantial reductions of non-methane volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides are still required to achieve 2010 targets.

34 An eco-efficiency indicator (Type C): the energy supply sector, EU15

35 Policy effectiveness indicator (Type D): sulphur dioxide emissions by conventional power plants,
EU15 Reference emission Measures taken Actual emission

36 The DPSIR Framework applied to
Reporting on Environmental Impacts of Transport Economic activity (GDP) Disposable income Market price of transport (income and inflation adjusted) No. of households Work and settlement patterns Distribution and trade patterns Leisure activities Result: Passenger & freight transport Regulation (e.g. technical standards, movement restrictions, speed limits, etc.) Taxes (fuel, road pricing, and subsidies Investment in public transport ‘smog’ warnings etc. Drivers Responses Ill health (e.g. accidents and respir’y diseases, especially in children and the elderly) biodiversity loss congestion “transport poverty” etc. Pressures Impact CO2, Nox, CO, Particulates, VOCs, noise emissions and materials movement for settlement and development land take airports road, rail and canal networks vehicle stock and related wastes State air, water, soil quality noise levels and exposures concentrations and exceedances (e.g. NOx AQG from traffic) settlements and biodiversity fragmentation

37 Transport and environment monitoring mechanism (TERM)

38 Remember the policy life cycle
When designing indicator lists be conscious of the position of the issue in the policy life cycle and use the frameworks and typologies Gaining recognition phase: state & impacts Policy response phase: pressures & driving forces For gaining wide acceptance of measures: eco-efficiency and policy-effectiveness indicators

39 4. Linking indicators to the policy process
Experiences 4 indicator classes some success factors Making indicators more relevant The link between indicators and the policy process Redisigning indicator lists to improve relevance

40 Experience with indicators in policy process show 4 classes:
Those showing functioning of the system and not designed to be policy relevant (eg, wetland birds) Those fully related to policy process (eg, GHGs) Clearly relevant to a policy process, but lacking precise link to policies to lead to an immediate reaction from the side of policy makers (eg, N & P in surface waters) Limited relevance to policy due to units used or relationship to processes with limited influence by policy measures (% of population linked to waste water treatment facilities)

41 Some success factors Indicators should report progress over time and be accompanied with an assessment; They should be few in number, and users should get used to their presentation; They are more powerful when linked with formal targets or informal or indicative (sustainable) reference values – as such they become management and accountability tools Using indicators to compare or benchmark individual sectors, countries or companies fosters progress as both failure and success stories

42 Steps in indicator based reporting
Agree on the „story“ (define environment-sector model; DPSIR) List (most important) policy questions (and identify policy levers) Identify indicators that come close to answering these („ideal“ & „actual“; define new ones!) Data compilation Assessment Make conclusions, modify, adapt, update – iterate!

43 Making indicators more relevant

44 M: Monitoring D: Data I: Information A: Assessment R: Reporting
Use MDIAR to analyse the information provision process MDIAR stands for: M: Monitoring D: Data I: Information A: Assessment R: Reporting R: Reporting A: Assessment I: Information D: Data M: Monitoring

45 An example: Air pollution: Reporting
Is progress in the implementation of agreed policies on ammonia enough to reach targets?

46 Air pollution: Assessment
"Changes in agricultural practice and lower animal numbers are expected to reduce ammonia emissions to X mln tonnes above the NECD target in 2010. In Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium it will be necessary either to reduce the amount of cattle with an additional Y% or to support the building of low-emission stables and to ban the conventional distribution of liquid manure on the fields".

47 Air pollution: Information
Ammonia emissions, EU15 CLRTAP target emissions NECD target N-critical load exceedance

48 Air pollution: Data Basic statistics
Emission coefficients and emissions Scenarios for societal developments Measures and their effects data spreadsheets models bases

49 Implications What does this imply for the EEA and EIONET concerning required expertise, networks and processes?

50 To identify this question you need:
contacts with the clients definition of appropriate indicators harmonised scenarios (socio-economic, sectoral & environment)

51 To make this assessment expertise in EEA & other networks is needed on:
agriculture & air policies & their degree of implementation agriculture practices use/assessment of socio-economic, agriculture scenarios development of air emission, dispersion-deposition projections distance to target analyses stakeholder involvement for endorsement of process/results

52 In order to build the defined indicators for the assessment we need:
Data flow analysis & management Past data: data management at ETCs, Eurostat, EMEP etc Future trends: models & other tools Non-environmental data inputs – cooperation Eurostat ...

53 Redisigning indicator lists to improve relevance
Group 1 – connected with quantitative targets (eg, the Kyoto target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) Group 2 – unquantified but equally clear policy objectives: eg, “to reduce the discharge of pollution from agricultural sources into ground and surface water”. Group 3 – vague policy “intentions”: eg, “to make rail freight transport more attractive”,

54 Key EEA activities contributing to streamlining
Identification, cataloguing and analysis of the policy questions, targets, compromises, etc (REM, ROD, REC projects and STAR database) Definition of core indicator sets (use DPSIR & the TERM model) Definition of priority data flows

55 5. A few thoughts on sustainability indicators
General model Some critical points for SD indicators

56 General model of sustainability indicators

57 General model of sustainability indicators – how the indicators fit in the model

58 Some critical points for SD indicators
Identify the right questions at the right moment in the policy cycle This will lead to the ”right” indicators Use consistent & systematic methodologies and frameworks to guide this process (eg, the indicator typology, DPSIR framework.....)

59 Some critical points for SD indicators cont...
Go beyond a collection of environment, social and economic indicators: identify & include ”systemic” indicators: multi-causality, critical thresholds, ecosystem services analyse the whole system and look for win-win situations at novel SD interfaces (not just env & economy, env. & health) Identify ”upstream” indicators: Shift from questions like: ”How many roads are we building” to ”Do people have access to basic services?” Monitor efficiency of use of energy, materials and chemicals Measure stocks (environmental, social and economic capitals) as well as flows

60 Some critical points for SD indicators cont...
Promote long term environmental health monitoring to: Build a base for future historical reference Look out for early warnings Focus on interlinkages not apparent in single issue or media approaches Develop scenarios and outlooks Develop & strengthen participatory processes with all stakeholders Promote international cooperation and exchange

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