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Every summer, European holiday resorts fill up with tourists eager to enjoy the warmer weather and the beautiful natural surroundings of this diverse continent. For many, the summer vacation is synonymous with swimming in the sea or in a lake, so it is natural that water quality is an important factor in choosing a destination. To help citizens make informed choices, the European
Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission publish the annual European bathing water quality report. The information contained in this edition - which covers bathing water quality in 2015 in the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland - indicates where good quality bathing water is likely to be found in 2016.
The 2011 Roadmap to a resource efficient Europe states, in its milestone of actions to address land as a resource, that 'By 2020, EU policies take into account their direct and indirect impact on land use in the EU and globally. This report presents a methodology for the assessment of European Union (EU) policies in terms of their land-related implications in Europe and provides an initial testing of the methodology across key EU policies and two in-depth case studies, which focus on Cohesion Policy spending on transport in Poland and Spain.
In this report, we have explored the notion of soil as an integral part of ecosystems and natural capital, and thus focused on the stock of the soil resource and the flows of valuable goods and services that can be derived from this stock. The concept of natural capital recognises soil as an asset that is of use and benefit to society (also called a 'productive' asset). Putting soil within the framework of the land system allows a connection to be made with governance, including soil resource efficiency.
Analysis of national responses under Article 21 of the EU ETS Directive in 2015
Forests are rich in biodiversity and valuable for recreation, water regulation and soil protection. As well as for providing timber and other non-wood forest products, forests are important for mitigating climate change and for the renewable energy sector. Forest ecosystems are exposed to a range of environmental, economic and social pressures that challenge their sustainability. The forest sector is influenced by the unprecedented pressures arising from climate change and the growing demands of society on natural resources. The aim of this report is to assess the current state of forest ecosystems in Europe on the pathway to healthy, diverse, resilient and productive forests for the benefit of present and future generations.
This report complements the findings shown in the "Trends and Projections in Europe 2015 - Tracking progress towards Europe's climate and energy targets" report with details about the 2013 renewable energy sources (RES) progress at EU and at country level, and for key RES technologies. Furthermore, it provides approximated estimates for RES development in 2014 and seeks to answer the following key questions: Which fossil energy sources were substituted by the growth of RES consumption since 2005 and what would have been their GHG emissions? How do European RES developments compare against renewable energy transformations occurring in other parts of the world?
We depend on healthy and resilient ecosystems to continue to deliver services, such as food, water, clean air and stable climate, which are essential for our well-being. This report provides an overview about the current condition of ecosystems in Europe and the human pressures they are exposed to. A ecosystem map for Europe reveals that many ecosystems are highly concentrated in a small number of countries, which could increase their vulnerability to environmental change, and a substantial proportion of the most vulnerable ecosystems are not protected within Natura 2000 sites, Marine Protected Areas or equivalent zones.
Road transport is an important source of both greenhouse gases and air pollutants.
Despite improvements in vehicle efficiencies over past decades, today the sector is responsible for almost one fifth of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from vehicles also lead to high concentrations of air pollutants above EU standards in many of Europe's cities. This report provides a summary of the current knowledge on vehicle emissions in Europe. It also explains how emissions are monitored and the common technologies used to limit them.
This report focuses on the role of floodplains in flood protection, water management, nature protection or agriculture and the impact of hydromorphological alterations on the ecosystem services that floodplains provide. The aim is to support the implementation of the EU Floods Directive (EU, 2007), in particular with regard to environmental impacts and how these can be linked to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. It looks at synergies between water management, nature conservation and economic developments both in the field and on policy level.
In line with its Multiannual Work Programme 2014-2018, the EEA, according to its mission, aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvements in Europe’s environment, through the provision of relevant, reliable, timely, and targeted information to policy-making agents and the public. The Annual Work Programme 2016 will continue many lines of work from previous annual work programmes along with some new emphases.
The report describes the concept of the circular economy and outlines its key characteristics. It draws attention to both the benefits and challenges in transitioning to such an economy and highlights possible ways to measure progress.
The strategy takes into account the priorities set by the European Commission (EC) within the framework of the Common Approach on EU decentralised agencies, especially: Ensuring proper handling of the conflicts of interest issue and developing anti-fraud activities especially through prevention, detection, awareness raising and closer cooperation with OLAF.
This report provides a summary of the quality of petrol and diesel used for road transport in the European Union under the requirements of the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), based on the information reported by Member States for 2014. EU Member States must sample fuels each year and analyse technical characteristics of petrol and diesel fuels sold in their territories to ensure that they are consistent with the requirements of the FQD.
The report analyses the evolution of the transport sector (freight and passenger) and its pressures on the environment since 2000, including the impacts of the economic recession in 2008. It makes use of the latest available data in order to assess key trends, measures and overall progress in meeting policy targets. It concludes that a fundamental decarbonisation of the transport sector will require not just technological solutions but also policies that stimulate significant behavioural changes, including the correct pricing of transport externalities and planning approaches that stimulate the use of sustainable modes of transport.
Cities are key players in minimising the use of resources and in developing the circular model. Generally, municipalities provide utilities and control public services for citizens and businesses that influence the majority of resource and energy use and the production of emissions and waste. Local authorities have the capacity to implement responses at multiple scales. This report analyses both the supply and the demand issues. It is divided into two parts: the first is devoted to how to avoid, prevent and reduce the use of resources; the second addresses reuse, recycling and harvesting.
The report introduces the concept of urban metabolism, the circular model and the role of compactness in urban resource efficiency. Cities require natural resources and energy to sustain the activities and daily life of the urban population. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to minimise the use of resources needed to sustain urban life and to reduce waste and emissions. As the urban form shapes the way people live, work and move, compact cities offer great potential to reduce the dependence on natural resources and energy. Urban planning, based on a vision of the future and developed with local stakeholders and crossing administrative borders, is a key factor in increasing the density of urban areas.
Shifting to a resource-efficient society is not just a question of technological change but a systemic one. It is a process that assumes fundamental changes in the governance, economy, social structure, culture and practices of the societal system. This report analyses challenges and opportunities for enabling resource-efficient cities.
Summary of data reported by companies on the production, import and export of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the European Union. This report is based on submissions for 2014, the first reporting year under the new F-Gas Regulation
517/2014. The new regulation requires, among other things, that companies report on produced, imported and exported quantities of fluorinated greenhouse
gases, including mixtures.
The report ‘Waste prevention in Europe – the status in 2014’ is the second in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated by the Waste Framework Directive. EU Member States are obliged to adopt waste prevention programmes, while EEA is invited to carry out review on their completion and implementation. Therefore, this report presents cross-programme comparison, including scope, objectives, targets, indicators, monitoring systems and measures, and policy instruments. The analysis is completed by presenting collection of examples of good practice for 27 analysed programmes.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
PDF generated on 29 May 2016, 08:05 AM
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