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Climate change is happening now: temperatures are rising, rainfall patterns are shifting, glaciers and snow are melting, and the global mean sea level is rising. We expect that these changes will continue, and that extreme weather events resulting in hazards such as floods and droughts will become more frequent and intense. Impacts and vulnerabilities for nature, the economy and our health differ across regions, territories and economic sectors in Europe. More
- Key facts and messages
- Scientific understanding of the interaction between air pollution and climate change has improved over the last two decades. In particular, there has been a greater realisation that some air pollutants also act as short-term drivers of global... more
- The EU aims to decarbonise its energy system and cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050. To achieve this goal, it has set a binding target of reducing emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. Further efforts... more
- Adaptation to the observed and projected impacts in coming decades is needed, complementary to global climate mitigation actions. The EU strategy on adaptation to climate change supports national adaptation strategies and other actions in countries... more
- Although air pollutants and greenhouse gases often come from the same sources, international agreements generally treat them separately. One way that European policy seeks to connect climate and air quality policies is through the inclusion... more
- Recent changes in the global climate are unprecedented over millennia and will continue. Climate change is expected increasingly to threaten natural ecosystems and biodiversity, slow economic growth, erode global food security, harm human health... more
- EU greenhouse gas emissions have been decreasing and are now 19% below 1990 levels. Latest data confirm that the EU is on track to overachieve its 2020 target of a 20% reduction compared to 1990 levels. more
- The risks of pervasive and irreversible impacts are expected to increase. They could, however, be reduced by further emissions abatement and adaptation measures, building on past actions in Europe and internationally. Key risks for Europe include... more
- Global climate change impacts Europe in many ways, including: changes in average and extreme temperature and precipitation, warmer oceans, rising sea level and shrinking snow and ice cover on land and at sea. These have led to a range of impacts... more
- The majority of European Union Member States expect to meet their individual emission targets for the non-trading sectors under the Effort Sharing Decision. However, for 14 countries, additional measures are needed to bring emissions below the... more
- Almost all European countries with an individual greenhouse gas limitation or reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol are on track towards achieving their targets. more
The EU Member States have lowered their energy consumption in recent years, despite a slight increase in 2015. At the same time, they use more and more renewable energy. Overall, the 28 Member States are collectively well on their way to meeting their 2020 targets on renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. However, continuing current trends will fall short of longer term objectives, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today.
EU firmly on course to reach 2020 target, despite a slight increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2015News 08 Nov 2016
Preliminary estimates show that emissions across the European Union in 2015 were 22 % lower than 1990 levels, despite a slight increase compared to 2014, according to new reports from the European Environment Agency (EEA) published today. The reports confirm that the EU is well on course to meet its greenhouse gas emission target set for 2020.
The surplus of CO2 emission allowances in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) started declining in 2015. This is the first significant decrease since unused allowances started accumulating in 2008. However, the surplus remains substantial, according to the European Environment Agency’s annual report on the EU’s emissions cap and trade system published today.
Decommissioning fossil fuel power plants between now and 2030 essential for Europe’s low carbon futureNews 07 Oct 2016
Significant changes will be needed in the Member States’ energy-generating mix if the European Union is to meet its 2050 goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % compared to 1990 levels, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. While the European Union has made considerable progress in improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy sources, a well-planned transition out of carbon-intensive power generation is needed to meet the long-term aim of creating a low-carbon society.
Modern society depends on the movement of goods and people, but our current transport systems have negative impacts on human health and the environment. We spoke to Magdalena Jóźwicka, project manager of an upcoming report on electric vehicles, about the environmental advantages and challenges of using electricity as an alternative to conventional fuels for vehicles.
Last December in Paris, the world set itself an ambitious target: limiting the global average temperature rise well below 2 degrees, while aiming to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. At the G20 summit earlier this month, China and the United States announced their formal commitment to join the Paris agreement. This is a major step forward for the international effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming. Nevertheless, the current reduction commitments made so far by signatory countries are not sufficient to meet this ambitious target.
Forests in Europe provide us essential services: clean air, clean water, natural carbon storage, timber, food and other products. They are home to many species and habitats. We talked about the challenges Europe’s forests face with Annemarie Bastrup-Birk, forest and environment expert at the European Environment Agency.
The climate deal agreed in Paris by 195 countries is the first-ever universal and legally binding agreement of its kind. The Paris agreement is the result of many years of preparation, dialogue and growing awareness of the need to tackle current and potential impacts of climate change. It constitutes a major and promising step towards building a low-carbon and climate-resilient world. It also sends a clear signal to policy makers and businesses to move away from fossil fuels and invest in clean energy and adaptation actions.
Trends and projections in Europe 2016 - Tracking progress towards Europe's climate and energy targetsPublication 01 Dec 2016
The 2016 edition of the annual EEA report, Trends and projections in Europe, provides an updated assessment of the progress of the EU and European countries towards their climate mitigation and energy targets.
This report provides estimates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the European Union (EU) and its Member States for 2015, covering the full GHG inventory (all sectors, except land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), and all gases). These estimates are also referred to as approximated ('proxy') estimates or inventories in this report as they cover the year for which no official GHG inventories have been prepared yet. The proxy inventories in this report are based on GHG emission estimates reported by Member States to the European Commission under existing EU legislation (1 ) and on calculations made by the European Environment Agency's (EEA) European Topic Centre on Air Pollution and Climate Change Mitigation (ETC/ACM) using activity and/or emission data at country level. The official submission of 2015 inventories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place in 2017. The proxy estimates greatly improve the timeliness of information on GHG emissions and are used for analysis of emission trends and progress towards EU climate targets.
The report provides an analysis of past, present and future emissions trends under the EU ETS, based on the latest data and information available from the European Commission and Member States. It also analyses the balance between supply and demand of allowances in the market. The report's annexes provide extensive material describing the functioning, scope and cap of the EU ETS.
With fossil fuels still contributing to roughly half of the electricity generated in Europe, moving away from a carbon-intensive power supply over the next few decades will require a commitment to increase investment in clean technology, restructure the fossil fuel energy infrastructure and ensure a secure and affordable power supply. In this context, this report fills an important information gap by looking at: • the theoretical evolution of fossil fuel capacity by 2030 in the absence of strong drivers to counter present trends; • how this hypothetical evolution would fit in with the need to create a qualitatively different EU power sector by 2030 and beyond, in line with EU climate goals.