Recent Publications and Speeches


Stopping Biodiversity Loss, Human Rights, and International Environmental Law

The CBD as well as (national and transnational) human rights contain an obligation to halt biodiversity loss since 1993 at the latest, which has been continuously violated ever since. Governments can also be sued on this basis. We show this in a new international paper: here.

Negative Emissions: Forests, Peatlands - and Geoengineering?

Even with zero fossil fuels and greatly reduced animal husbandry, residual emissions remain that must be compensated - even if sufficiency can make this amount of emissions smaller than the IPCC assumes. This requires above all the regulation of forests and peatlands (which are also central to biodiversity protection). Here, economic instruments and regulatory law relate to each other differently than they often do. Three international articles explore this - on forests, on peatlands and on the very problematic large-scale BECCSand other kinds of geoengineering.

Paris Target, Human Rights, and our Groundbreaking Constitutional Court Verdict on Unambitious Climate Protection and Precautionary Principle

German and EU climate policy is contrary to international law and constitutional human rights. Even the unambitious targets themselves are illegal. More on this in our new legal analysis, including critical perspectives on IPCC AR6 here. In April 2021, we won a groundbreaking lawsuit at the German Constitutional Court. See on this in Nature Climate Change, in The Environment and Sustainability.

Economic Instruments for Phosphorus Governance - Climate and Biodiv Targets

The existing legal framework on P is strongly characterized by detailed command-and-control provisions and thus suffers from governance problems such as enforcement deficits, rebound and shifting effects. Our new paper focuses on how these challenges could be addressed by economic instruments. The article highlights not only the impact of the instruments on P management, but also on adjacent environmental areas. We pay particular attention to the governance effects on reaching international binding climate and biodiv goals: here.

Land Use, Livestock, Quantity Governance, and Economic Instruments

The production of animal food products is (besides fossil fuels) one of the most important noxae with regard to many of the environmental problems, such as climate change, biodiversity loss or globally disrupted nutrient cycles. This paper provides a qualitative governance analysis of which regulatory options there are to align livestock farming with the legally binding environmental objectives, in particular the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity: here.

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Publications of Felix Ekardt and the Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy

This is a list of some international English publications of Felix Ekardt and the Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy. A complete list of all publications can be found on the German page

  1. Sustainability: Transformation, Governance, Ethics, Law, Springer, 340 p., 2nd ed. Dordrecht 2024
  2. Economic Evaluation – Cost-Benefit Analysis – Economic Ethics. A Critique with Regard to Climate Economics - about Figures in the Sustainability Discourse, Springer, 200 p., Dordrecht 2022
  3. Forest Governance: Overcoming Trade-Offs between Land-Use Pressures, Climate and Biodiversity Protection, Springer, 241 p., Dordrecht 2022 (with Jessica Stubenrauch, Katharina Hagemann and Beatrice Garske)
  4. Paris Target, Human Rights, and IPCC Weaknesses: Legal Arguments in Favour of Smaller Carbon Budgets, Environments 2022, p. 112 (with Marie Bärenwaldt and Katharine Heyl)
  5. Legally Binding and Ambitious Biodiversity Protection under the CBD, the Global Biodiversity Framework, and Human Rights Law, Environmental Sciences Europe 2023, 35 (with Philipp Günther, Katharina Hagemann, Beatrice Garske, Katharine Heyl and Raphael Weyland)
  6. Human Rights, Freedom, Paris Agreement, and EU Climate Law: A Critical Analysis of the German Constitutional Court’s Verdict, Sustainability 2023, 12993 (with Marie Bärenwaldt)
  7. Carbon Farming, Overestimated Negative Emissions and the Limits to Emissions Trading in Land Use Governance: The EU Carbon Removal Certification, Environmental Sciences Europe 2024, 70 (zusammen mit Philipp Günther, Beatrice Garske und Katharine Heyl)
  8. Digital twins in sustainable transition: exploring the role of EU data governance, Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics 2024, 103389 (with Beatrice Garske und Wilmont Holz)
  9. The EU Communication on ensuring availability and affordability of fertilisers — a milestone for sustainable nutrient management or a missed opportunity?, Environmental Sciences Europe 2024, 19 (with Beatrice Garske and Katharine Heyl)
  10. Using bone char as phosphate recycling fertiliser: an analysis of the new EU Fertilising Products Regulation, Environmental Sciences Europe 2023, 109 (with Katharine Heyl and Beatrice Garske)
  11. Balancing Climate Goals and Biodiversity Protection: Legal implications of the 30x30 Target for Land-Based Carbon Removal, Frontiers in Climate 2023 (with Philipp Günther)
  12. The Priority of Nature-based over Engineered Negative Emission Technologies: Locating BECCS and DACCS within the Hierarchy of International Climate Law, Ecological Civilization 2023, 10004 (with Philipp Günther)
  13. Energy Charter Treaty: Towards a New Interpretation in the Light of Paris Agreement and Human Rights, Sustainability 2023, 5006 (with Paula Roos, Marie Bärenwaldt and Lea Nesselhauf)
  14. Achieving the nutrient reduction objective of the Farm to Fork Strategy. An assessment of CAP subsidies for precision fertilization and sustainable agricultural practices in Germany, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 2023, 103389 (with Katharine Heyl, Paula Roos and Beatrice Garske)
  15. Freedom, Human Rights, Paris Agreement, and Climate Change: The German Landmark Ruling on Climate Litigation, The Environment Magazine 2022, 2021791 = Revue International de Droit Comparé 2022, 145 ff.
  16. The German Constitutional Verdict is a Landmark in Climate Litigation, Nature Climate Change 2022, 697 ff. (zusammen mit Katharine Heyl)
  17. Barriers and methodology in transitioning to sustainability – analysing web news comments concerning animal-based diets, Journal of Cleaner Production 2022, 129857 (with Katharine Heyl)
  18. Potentials and limitations of subsidies in sustainability governance: the example of agriculture, Sustainability 2022, 15859 (with Katharine Heyl, Lennard Sund and Paula Roos)
  19. European Forest Governance: Status Quo and Optimising Options with regard to the Paris Climate Target, Sustainability 2022, 4365 (with Jessica Stubenrauch, Beatrice Garske and Katharina Hagemann)
  20. Phosphorus, Human Rights, and Distributive Justice, Working Paper, Leipzig 2023 (with Beatrice Garske and Jessica Stubenrauch)
  21. Human Rights and Large-scale Carbon Dioxide Removal: Potential Limits to BECCS and DACCS Deployment, Land 2022, 2153 (with Philipp Günther)
  22. How to legally overcome the distinction between organic and conventional farming: Governance approaches for sustainable farming on 100% of the land, Sustainable Production and Consumption 2021, 716. (with Jessica Stubenrauch, Katharine Heyl, Beatrice Garske, Valentina Louise Schott and Susanne Ober)
  23. Shell’s Climate Obligation: Climate, Civil Courts, Human Rights, and Balance of Powers, Verfassungsblog vom 09.06.2021
  24. Constitutional Court: Climate Revolution with Weaknesses, Verfassungsblog/On Matters Constitutional, 8/5/2021
  25. Digitalization and AI in European Agriculture: A Strategy for Achieving Climate and Biodiversity Targets?, Sustainability 2021, 4652 (with Beatrice Garske and Antonia Bau)
  26. Free Trade, Environment, Agriculture, and Plurilateral Treaties: The Ambivalent Example of Mercosur, CETA and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, Sustainability 2021, 3153 (with Katharine Heyl, Paula Roos, Jessica Stubenrauch and Beatrice Garske)
  27. Economic Policy Instruments for Sustainable Phosphorus Management – Taking into Account Climate and Biodiversity Targets, Environmental Sciences Europe 2021, 56 (with Beatrice Garske)
  28. The Grounds of Frugality: Policy Instruments, Limits to Technology and Growth, and the Difficult Role of Good Life, in: Habicher, Daria et al.: Transformation und Wachstum, Wiesbaden 2021, 69 (with Jutta Wieding)
  29. Climate Change and Human Reaction, Sustainability 2021 (Special Issue) (Gast-Hg.).
  30. Human Rights and Precautionary Principle: Limits to Geoengineering, SRM, and IPCC Scenarios, Sustainability 2020, p. 8858 (with Jutta Wieding and Jessica Stubenrauch)
  31. Land Use, Livestock, Quantity Governance, and Economic Instruments: Sustainability beyond Big Livestock Herds and Fossil Fuels, Sustainability 2020, p. 2053 (with Antonia Weishaupt, Beatrice Garske, Jutta Wieding and Jessica Stubenrauch)
  32. Peatland Governance: The Problem of Depicting in Sustainability Governance, Regulatory Law, and Economic Instruments, Land 2020, p. 83 (with Benedikt Jacobs, Jessica Stubenrauch and Beatrice Garske)
  33. Challenges of Food Waste Governance: An Assessment of European Legislation on Food Waste and Recommendations for Improvement by Economic Instruments, Land 2020, p. 231 (with Beatrice Garske, Katharine Heyl, Lea Moana Weber and Wiktoria Gradzka)
  34. Sustainable phosphorus management in European agricultural and environmental law, RECIEL 2020 (with Beatrice Garske und Jessica Stubenrauch)
  35. The Common Agricultural Policy beyond 2020: A critical review in light of global environmental goals RECIEL 2020 (with Katharine Heyl, Tobias Döring, Beatrice Garske and Jessica Stubenrauch)
  36. Plastic Pollution in Soils: Governance Approaches to Foster Soil Health and Closed Nutrient Cycles, Environments 2020, 38 ff. (with Jessica Stubenrauch)
  37. Phosphorus: Sustainable Management, in: Wiley Encyclopedia, 2019 (with Maximilian Berthold et al.)
  38. Paris Agreement, Precautionary Principle and Human Rights: Zero Emissions in Two Decades?, Sustainability 2018, p. 2812 (with Jutta Wieding and Anika Zorn)
  39. Agriculture-related climate policies – law and governance issues on European and global level, Carbon and Climate Law Review 2018, p. 316 (with Jutta Wieding, Beatrice Garske and Jessica Stubenrauch)
  40. Sustainable Land Use, Soil Protection and Phosphorus Management from a Cross-National Perspective, Sustainability 2018, Special Issue, p. 1988 (with Jessica Stubenrauch and Beatrice Garske)
  41. EU ETS Reform and a Revised Concept of Economic Instruments, in: Angrick, Michael et al. (eds.): 12 Years of European Emissions Trading in Germany, Marburg 2018, p. 249
  42. EU Competition Law, Renewable Energies and the Tendering Model: Quantity Control Versus Price Control in Climate Politics, in: Mathis, Klaus (ed.): Competition Law and Economics, Dordrecht 2019, in print (with Jutta Wieding)
  43. The German Energy Transition, Ecoscienza 2018, in print
  44. The temperature target of the Paris Agreement and the forgotten aspects of a meaningful energy transition, in: Mathis, Klaus (ed.): Energy Law and Economics, Dordrecht 2018, p. 77 (with Jutta Wieding)
  45. Handling the Phosphorus Paradox, Ambio 2018 (with Peter Leinweber, Caroline Douhaire et al.)
  46. Sociotechnical Environments: New Challenges for STS, Tecnoscienza 2017, p. 103
  47. Human Rights, the Right to Food, Legal Philosophy, and General Principles of International Law, ARSP 2017, p. 221 (with Anna Hyla)
  48. Defending Environmental Economic Instruments against the Economists and their Opponents, in: Mathis, Klaus (ed.), Environmental Law and Economics, Dordrecht 2017, p. 83 (with Jutta Wieding)
  49. Nudging and Environmental Law: Perspectives and Examples, in: Mathis, Klaus/ Tor, Avishalom (ed.): Nudging, Berlin 2016, p. 247 (with Jutta Wieding)
  50. Natural Capital Accounting and the Mobilization of Financial Resources for Biodiversity, Working Paper, 2016
  51. Legal Instruments for Phosphorus Supply Security – Integrated Solutions for Various Environmental Problems, JEEPL 2016, p. 341 (with Beatrice Garske, Jessica Stubenrauch and Jutta Wieding)
  52. Growth: A Hard Habit to Break, Global Compact International Yearbook 2016, p. 25
  53. Climate Justice 2015 (Paper for COP 21/ FoE Germany, 20 p., Berlin 2015 (with Jutta Wieding and Marianne Henkel)
  54. The Legality of the Export of Radioactive Waste of AVR Jülich to the USA, 2015 (with Raphael Weyland)
  55. Sustainability, Justice, and Climate Change, in: German, Kinga (ed.): Sustainability Identities. 56th Biennale di Venezia, Budapest 2015, p. 74
  56. Sustainability and Phosphorus Scarcity, in: Schnug, Ewald/ de Kok, Luit (eds.): Phosphorus 100 % Zero, 2015, p. 317
  57. Phosphorus Governance, in: Schnug, Ewald/ de Kok, Luit (eds.): Phosphorus 100 % Zero, 2015, p. 331 (with Beatrice Garske, Jessica Stubenrauch and Jutta Wieding)
  58. Transdisciplinary humanistic sustainability theory: justice, governance, blocks, in: Enders, Judith/ Remig, Moritz (ed.): Theories of Sustainable Development, London 2014, p. 65
  59. Climate Change, Justice, and Sustainability: The Right to Freedom, Protection Rights, and Balancing, ARSP 2014, p. 187
  60. Examples on National Climate Policy: Germany, in: Hollo, Erkki (Hg.): Climate Change and the Law. A Global Perspective (Handbook), Berlin 2013, p. 523
  61. Climate Change, Sustainability, and Justice, in: Hollo, Erkki (ed.): Climate Change and the Law. A Global Perspective (Handbook), Berlin 2013, p. 63
  62. Toward A New Approach to Discourse Theory of Law and Justice, ARSP 2012, p. 377
  63. The Clean Development as a Governance Issue, Carbon & Climate Law Review 2012, p. 396 (with Anne-Katrin Exner)
  64. International Resource Politics, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, 2012 (with Wuppertal Institute and Heidi Feldt)
  65. Intergenerational Justice and Human Rights, in: Markus, Jean-Paul (ed.): Intergenerational Justice, Paris 2012, p. 101
  66. Extended emissions trading versus sustainability criteria: Managing the ecological and social ambivalences of bioenergy, RELP 2012, p. 49 (with Hartwig von Bredow)
  67. Phosphorus, Governance and the Law, in: Yabar Sterling, Ana et al. (eds.): Market Instruments and Sustainable Economy, Madrid 2012, p. 467 (with Nadine Holzapfel and Andrea Ulrich)
  68. Sustainability, Land-use, and Soil Protection - A Legal Perspective, Agriculture & Forestry Research 2011, p. 83 (with Nadine Holzapfel, Andrea Ulrich, Ewald Schnug and Silvia Haneklaus)
  69. Managing the Ecological and Social Ambivalences of Bioenergy - Sustainability Criteria versus Extended Carbon Markets, in: Leal, Walter (ed.), The Economic, Social, and Political Aspects of Climate Change, Berlin 2011, p. 455 (with Hartwig von Bredow)
  70. Legal Perspectives of sustainable P use in agriculture, EcoRegion Perspectives November 2011, p. 29 (with Nadine Holzapfel und Andrea Ulrich)
  71. Land use, climate change and emissions trading. European and international legal aspects of the post-Kyoto process, CCLR 2011, p. 371 (with Bettina Hennig und Hartwig von Bredow) = Verschuuren, Jonathan (ed.), Environmental Law and Climate Change, Cheltenham 2015
  72. Climate Change and Social Distributive Justice, in: Pan Jiahua (Hg.): Climate Policy after Copenhagen, Beijing 2011, p. 83 (English/ Chinese)
  73. A Critical Review of “Efficiency Ethics”. The Case of Climate Economics, in: Mathis, Klaus (ed.): Efficiency, Sustainability, and Justice to Future Generations, Berlin 2011, p. 181
  74. Of Unity in Diversity and Inherent Tensions: Interpreting the European Union’s New Architecture of Fundamental Rights, Columbia Journal of European Law 2010 (with Daniel Kornack)
  75. Economics, Ethics, and the Limits to Efficiency Theory: A Critical Review of “rational” Efficiency Ethics and Business Ethics – Shortcomings by Economic Theory, Stern, Nordhaus, and IPCC, Journal of International Business Ethics 2/ 2010, 29 (with Martin Wilke)
  76. Absolute Quantity Reductions as a Legal Problem, JEEPL 2010, p. 267 (with Nadine Holzapfel und Andrea Ulrich)
  77. The Added Value of the Environment: Ethical Aspects of Climate Change, Journal of International Business Ethics 2009, Vol. 1, p. 46
  78. Issues of Non-Sustainability in Fertiliser Legislation, LBF 2009
  79. Distributive Justice, Competitiveness, and Transnational Climate Protection: ‘One Human – One Emission Right’, Carbon & Climate Law Review 2009, p. 102 (with Antonia von Hövel)
  80. Climate Protection, Justice, and CDM. A Review of the Copenhagen Protocol Draft, Carbon & Climate Law Review 2009, p. 261 (with Anne-Katrin Exner and Sibylle Albrecht)
  81. Border Adjustments, WTO Law, and Climate Protection, Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation 2009, p. 737 (with Andrea Schmeichel)
  82. Legal Aspects of Uranium in environmental Compartments, in: De Kok, Luit/Schnug, Ewald (eds.): Loads and Fate of fertiliser derived Uranium, Groningen 2008, p. 209 (with Ewald Schnug)
  83. Sustainability and a New Concept of Liberty, in: Bugge, Hans Christian/Voigt, Christina (eds.): Sustainable Development in International and National Law, Groningen 2008, p. 67