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Fossil fuels continue to dominate the electricity mix in 2012, being responsible for almost one half (48%) of all gross electricity generation in the EU28. Nuclear energy sources came second, contributing more than one quarter of all gross electricity generation in 2012 (27%). However, the share of electricity generated from renewable sources is in rapid progression and reached almost one quarter of all gross electricity generation in the EU28 in 2012 (24%), having doubled its share since 1990 (see ENER30 for information on renewable electricity consumption).
Final electricity consumption  increased by 29% in the EU28 since 1990, at an average rate of around 1.2% per year (see ENER16 ). In the EU28, the strongest growth was observed in the services sector (3.0%/year), followed by households (1.4%/year) and industry (0.9%/year). In non-EU EEA countries, the growth in electricity consumption was larger and reached 3.6%/year, driven by the rapid growth in Turkey.
 Final electricity consumption covers the total consumption of electricity by all end-use sectors plus electricity imports and minus exports.
Passenger transport demand in the EU-28 decreased by nearly 1.5 % between 2011 and 2012, following a slight downward trend since its peak in 2009, broken only by a 1 % increase in 2011. Car passenger travel remains the dominant mode, with a share well above 70 %. Air transport grew by 10 % in 2011, but stabilised in 2012. However, it retained its pre-crisis modal share (9 %). Rail passengers’ share has grown slightly in recent years, and accounted for 7 % in 2012, after the slight increase in the last two years (2011 and 2012).
Land passenger transport demand in non-EU-28 countries kept growing overall in 2012, with a 1.7 % growth in Iceland, and 1.5 % in Switzerland. Norwegian land transport demand figures remain stable, with car and rail demand growth (1.3 % and 3.6 % respectively) offsetting a 20.2 % loss in rail. The quick deterioration of rail passenger transport in Turkey (-22 % in 2012) was accompanied by a significant increase (6.2 % in 2012) in total land transport demand, sustained by a 10.5 % growth in car travel. It is worth noting that, according to Eurocontrol (Eurocontrol, 2014), Turkey is also the main driver of air passenger traffic growth in the European skies.
Freight transport volumes in the EU‑28 decreased by 2 % between 2011 and 2012, mainly due to a 3 % reduction in road freight transport (with Italy leading the road drop by 13.8 % compared to its 2011 figure). Rail transport also decreased by 4 % between 2011 and 2012, whereas IWW transport increased by 6 %. Maritime and air transport did not vary significantly. Overall, total freight transport volumes in the EU‑28 are now 10 % below the peak volumes experienced in 2007. The modal share remains constant; road transport dominates land freight transport at 75 %, followed by rail (18 %) and IWW (7 %).
Switzerland experienced a decrease of 4 % in road and rail transport, whereas Norway and Turkey’s overall land freight transport increased (by 4 % and 6 % respectively), and Iceland’s demand remained roughly constant between 2011 and 2012.
Road traffic is, by far, the major source of traffic noise in Europe both inside and outside agglomerations. It should be also highlighted that significant numbers of people remain exposed to high levels of noise from rail and aircraft.
In the largest European cities, over 250 thousand inhabitants, noise from road transport is a major concern, as in 2007 almost 67 million people were exposed to long-term average road traffic noise levels exceeding 55dB L den (weighted average day, evening, night). At night time, for the same reported cities, more than 45 million people were exposed to road noise levels higher than 50dB. Concerning noise from major roads outside agglomerations, 33 million were affected during daytime and 23 million at night periods.
When available data allows for comparison between 2007 and 2012, different patterns have been observed: there has been a general increase of people exposed to all noise bands from airports, a slight increase of people exposed to noise from roads (only people exposed to lower noise bands), and a slight decrease of people exposed to noise from railways. Nevertheless, for 2012 reference year, information on strategic noise maps is missing for 12 out of 33 EEA member countries.
The latest year’s available data show a continuation of the general trend for decreases in air pollutant emissions from transport: all transport-derived pollutants decreased between 2011 and 2012 (by 6 % in the case of NO x , 7 % for SO x , and by 6 % and 7 % in the case of PM 10 and PM 2.5 , respectively). The latest data show that non-exhaust emissions are 46 % of the exhaust emissions of primary PM 10 in 2012, and 31 % of the exhaust emissions of primary PM 2.5 .
Aviation is the only subsector where emissions have increased in the last year available, by 7 % for NH 3 and by 9 % for SO x emissions. Aviation and shipping are the two sectors where increases in activity since 1990 have offset reductions elsewhere, in particular for SO x but also for NO x and PM. Road transport and aviation have also increased NH 3 emissions significantly over the last two decades, but while road transport has recently reduced its emissions, aviation has not yet been able to do so.
In general terms, the transport sector achieved important reductions in the period 1990 through 2012: reductions in CO and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) (both 81 %), but also in NO x (33 %), SO x (26 %) and particulates (by 23 % in the case of PM 2.5 and by 18 % for PM 10 ).
The latest EEA preliminary estimations shows that transport emissions fell by 3.3 % in 2012, following the reduction trend seen from 2008. In 2012, transport (including shipping and aviation) contributed 24.3 % of the total of GHG emissions in the EU-28. Transport emissions (including aviation) in 2012 were 20.5 % above 1990 levels, despite a decline between 2008 and 2012. Emissions will, therefore, need to fall by 67 % by 2050 in order to meet the Transport White Paper target. International aviation experienced the largest percentage increase in GHG emissions from 1990 levels (+ 93 %), followed by international shipping (+ 32 %).
Emissions from international shipping declined between 2008 and 2012. GHG emissions from international aviation also declined, by 1.3 %, in 2012.
Outside the EU-28, in the last year available (between 2011 and 2012), values were generally stable.
This indicator factsheet is based on data for the period 1990 to 2012. Between 1990 and 2007, annual transport energy consumption in the EEA member countries grew by 38%. However following this year, this trend reversed. Between 2007 and 2012, total energy demand in the EEA-33 transport sector declined by 10.6 %. This is shown in Figure 1 below. Total transport energy consumption for the EEA-33 has increased by 24.4% between 1990 and 2012. Latest estimates suggest that the downward trend in transport energy consumption has continued through 2013, with a further 1% drop in energy consumption.
The shipping sector saw the greatest decline in energy consumption during the recession; bunkers dropped by 10% between 2008 and 2009 alone, with a total decrease of 15% between 2007 and 2012. Energy use for road, aviation and rail transport fell by around 9% over the 2007 to 2012 time period.
Road transport accounts for the largest amount of energy consumption, accounting for 73% of total demand in 2012. Despite a decrease in energy consumption since the recession, total road transport energy consumption in 2012 was still almost 22% higher in the EEA-33 than in 1990. The fraction of road transport fuel that is diesel has continued to increase and in 2012 it amounted to 70%.
In 2012, the share of renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption  in the EU28 was 24.1%. Hydropower accounted for 11% of all electricity generation in 2012, followed by wind (6%), biomass and wastes (3%), solar power (2%), and geothermal and other renewables (2%). Overall, renewable electricity grew at an annual average rate of 4.1% since 1990, and slightly faster (7.1%/year) since 2005.
The EU28 has met its indicative 21% target for renewable electricity in gross electricity consumption by 2010, as specified in the Renewable Electricity Directive (2001/77/EC). At Member State level, 14 EU-countries met their indicative national renewable electricity targets under that Directive.
From 2012, the Renewable Electricity Directive has been repealed by the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), which establishes binding targets for Member States to meet a certain share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption by 2020 (see ENER 28 ).
 Gross (national) electricity consumption includes the total gross national electricity generation from all fuels (including auto-production), plus electricity imports, minus exports. Auto-production is defined as a natural or legal person generating electricity essentially for his/her own use. Gross electricity generation is measured at the outlet of the main transformers, i.e. it includes consumption in the plant auxiliaries and in transformers.
The share of renewable energy sources in gross inland energy consumption (GIEC) increased in the EU28 from 4.3% in 1990 to 11.0% in 2012  . In 2012, the main contributors to the gross inland consumption of renewable energy were biomass and renewable waste (58%), followed by hydro (16%), wind (10%) and liquid biofuels (9%). The gross inland energy consumption from renewable sources increased at an average annual rate of 4.4% over the period 1990-2012, with a faster growth rate observed since 2005 (6.7%/year). In non-EU EEA countries  the share of renewable in gross inland energy consumption reached 20% in 2012.
 GIEC represents the total quantity of energy necessary to satisfy inland consumption of the geographic entity under consideration. Please note that the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption (GFEC) is presented in another indicator (see ENER28 ). In contrast to GIEC, GFEC excludes transformation losses in the energy sector.
 Non-EU EEA countries are Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Data for Lichtenstein and Switzerland (for 2012) are missing, hence totals for the non-EU EEA exclude Lichtenstein and Switzerland.
The extent and volume of the Arctic Sea ice has declined rapidly since global data became available in 1980, especially in summer. Record low sea ice cover in September 2007, 2011 and 2012 was roughly half the size of the normal minimum extent in the 1980s. September ice cover has somewhat recovered in 2013 and 2014 but it was still well below the average for 1981-2010.
Over the period 1979–2014, the Arctic has lost on average 42 000 km 2 of sea ice per year in winter and 91 000 km 2 per year at the end of summer. The decline in summer sea ice appears to have accelerated since 1999.
The maximum sea ice extent in the Baltic Sea has been decreasing most of the time since about 1800. The decrease appears to have accelerated since the 1980s but the large interannual variability prohibits a clear assessment as to whether this increase is statistically significant.
Arctic Sea ice is projected to continue to shrink and thin all year round. For high greenhouse gas emissions, a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September is likely before mid-century. There will still be substantial ice in winter.
Baltic Sea ice, in particular the extent of the maximal cover, is projected to continue to shrink.
Between 1990 and 2012, energy intensity (the ratio of gross inland energy consumption and GDP) in the EU28 decreased by 1.7% per year. In 2012, the energy intensity in the EU28 was 31% below the 1990 level.
During this period, the rate of decrease of energy intensity in the EU28 has been rather constant. The period 1990-2005 is characterised by a relatively high economic growth and a more modest growth of gross inland energy consumption. The period 2005-2012 is characterised by a much smaller economic growth and decreasing gross inland energy consumption. The resulting rate of decrease of energy intensity is rather similar in these periods.
All EEA member countries  show a decrease of energy intensity between 2005 and 2012, except for Greece (annually +2.0%), Iceland (annually +6.4%), Norway (annually +0.4%) and Turkey (annually +1.1%). Largest decreases were observed in Central European countries (e.g. Slovakia, Lithuania and Romania) because of changes in their economic structure.
 The 33 EEA member countries include the 28 European Union Member States together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
In 2012 EU GHG emissions were 19.2 % below 1990 levels (excluding LULUCF and international aviation). Preliminary estimates for 2013 show a further fall of 80 Mt CO2 eq. between 2012 and 2013 (20.7 % below 1990 levels).
Almost all EEA countries are well on track towards achieving its commitments under the first period of the Kyoto Protocol.
EU-15 average emissions between 2008 and 2012 were 11.8 % below base-year levels.
In the EU, emissions covered by the Emission Trading System (ETS) between in 2013 were 19 % below 2005 levels.
In 2013, all EU Member States apart from Germany, Luxembourg and Poland, are considered to be on track to meet their annual targets.
For six Member States, projections indicate that implementing the additional measures which were in planning stage in 2013 might not be sufficient to reduce GHG emissions below targets by 2020 under the Effort Sharing Decision.
Storm location, frequency and intensity show considerable decadal variability across Europe over the past century, such that no long-term trends are apparent.
Recent studies on changes in winter storm tracks generally project an eastward extension of the North Atlantic storm track towards central Europe and the British isles, but this finding is not yet robust.
Climate change simulations show diverging projections on changes in the number of winter storms across Europe. However, almost all studies agree that storm intensities will increase in the future for the North Atlantic, northern, northwestern and central Europe.
In the period 2000-2012, a significant proportion of the urban population in the EU-28 was exposed to ambient concentrations of pollutants above the EU limit (LV) or target (TV) values for the protection of human health. The numbers of people exposed was even higher in relation to the more stringent World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The figures (minimum-maximum in the period) are:
For PM 2.5 , 4-14 % for EU LV and 87-98 % for WHO guideline (for the period 2006-2012 only).
For PM 10 , 21-41 % and 64-92 %,.
For ozone, 14-65 % and 93-99 %.
For NO 2 , 8-27 % in both cases.
For B(a)P, 20-28 % and 85-88 % (for the period 2008-2012 only).
Air quality has slowly improved over past years. Following the decreasing tendencies, in 2012 fewer people (urban population) were exposed to concentrations above the PM 10 EU LV and WHO guideline; the O 3 EU TV; the NO 2 EU LV and WHO guideline; and the SO 2 EU LV and WHO guideline values.
The share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption in the EU28 reached 14.1% in 2012, representing 70% of the EU’s 20% renewable energy target for 2020. Renewable energy sources represented 15.6% of gross final energy consumption for heating and cooling, 23.5% of final electricity consumption and 5.1% of transport fuels consumption in 2012.
Global mean sea level (GMSL) has risen by 19 cm from 1901 to 2013 at an average rate of 1.7 mm/year. There has been significant decadal variation of the rate of increase but an acceleration is detectable over this period. The rate of sea level rise over the last two decades, when satellite measurements have been available, is higher at 3.2 mm/year.
Most coastal regions in Europe have experienced an increase in absolute sea level as well as in sea level relative to land, but there is significant regional variation.
Extreme high coastal water levels have increased at many locations around the European coastline. This increase appears to be predominantly due to increases in mean local sea level at most locations rather than to changes in storm activity.
GMSL rise during the 21st century will very likely occur at a higher rate than during 1971–2010. Process-based models project a rise in 2081–2100, compared to 1986–2005, that is likely to be in the range 0.26–0.54 m for a low emissions scenario (RCP2.6) and 0.45–0.81 m for a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5). Projections of GMSL rise from semi-empirical models are up to twice as large as from process-based models, but there is low confidence in their projections.
Available process-based models indicate GMSL rise by 2300 to be less than 1 m for greenhouse gas concentrations that peak and decline and do not exceed 500 ppm CO2-equivalent but 1 m to more than 3 m for concentrations above 700 ppm CO2-equivalent. However, these models are likely to systematically underestimate the sea level contribution from Antarctica. The multi-millennial sea level commitment is estimated at 1–3 m GMSL rise per degree of warming.
The rise in sea level relative to land at European coasts is projected to be similar to the global average, with the exception of the northern Baltic Sea and the northern Atlantic coast, which are experiencing considerable land rise as a consequence of post-glacial rebound.
Projected increases in extreme high coastal water levels in Europe will likely be dominated by increases in local relative mean sea level, with changes in the meteorologically-driven surge component being less important at most locations.
River and coastal flooding affect millions of people in Europe each year. They affect human health through drowning, heart attacks, injuries, infections, exposure to chemical hazards, psychosocial consequences as well as disruption of services, including health services.
Observed increases in heavy precipitation and extreme coastal high-water events have led to more river and coastal flooding in many European regions.
Increases in health risks associated with coastal and river flooding are projected in many regions of Europe due to projected increases in sea level and in extreme precipitation events.
The length of the wet period has significantly increased in north-eastern Europe and decreased in south-western Europe. Changes in other regions are not statistically significant.
Data availability is insufficient for assessing trends of extreme daily precipitation across Europe. However, available studies generally point to a trend over recent decades towards more heavy precipitation, in particular in central and eastern Europe in winter.
No significant changes in the annually averaged duration of dry spells have been observed across Europe. However, increasing summer dryness has been observed in central and southern Europe since the 1950s.
Heavy precipitation events are likely to increase in most parts of Europe, especially in central and eastern Europe in winter.
The length of dry spells is projected to increase significantly in southern and central Europe, in particular in summer, and to decrease in northern Europe.
Heat waves and extreme cold spells are associated with decreases in general population well-being and with increases in mortality and morbidity, especially in vulnerable population groups. Temperature thresholds for health impacts differ according to the region and season.
The number of heat extremes has substantially increased across Europe in recent decades. Heat waves have caused tens of thousands of premature deaths in Europe over the last decade.
Length, frequency and intensity of heat waves are virtually certain to increase in the future. This increase will lead to a substantial increase in mortality over the next decades, especially in vulnerable population groups, unless adaptation measures are taken.
Cold-related mortality is projected to decrease due to better social, economic and housing conditions in many countries in Europe. However, recent studies have questioned whether the projected warming would lead to a further decrease in cold-related mortality.
The Greenland ice sheet is the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere and plays an important role in the global climate system. Melting of the Greenland ice sheet has contributed about one fifth to global sea level rise in the last decade.
The Greenland ice sheet has lost ice during the last two decades at an increasing rate. The average ice loss increased from 34 billion tonnes per year over the period 1992-2001 to 215 billion tonnes per year over the period 2002-2011 and 375 billion tonnes per year over the period 2011-2013.
Model projections suggest further declines of the Greenland ice sheet in the future but the uncertainties are large. The upper bounds for the sea-level contribution during the 21 st century and the 3 rd millennium (until the year 3000) are 16 cm and 4-5 m, respectively.
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 26/12/2014 10:31
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