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Climate change: investing in low-carbon solutions and adaptation

Our climate is changing. We need to adapt to current and expected changes, while maximising our efforts to quickly and sharply reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. And 2015 can be a turning point for global climate policies. Europe and the world must seize the opportunity and allocate sufficient funds to end the carbon dependency of the global economy.

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A strong environment as the basis for Europe's future economy

Europe selected its new policy makers. They will need to address not only today's challenges but also set in motion policies that will affect Europeans well beyond their five-year mandate. What do they need to do today to make sure that Europeans live well in the future? By taking action at the EU level and tackling environment and climate issues, EU policy makers can actually revive the economy and guarantee our long-term well-being.

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Preparing Europe’s cities for climate change impacts

Climate change is impacting and will continue to impact Europe. Are cities ready to face rising sea levels and temperatures and more extreme events like floods, droughts or heat waves? We asked this question to Birgit Georgi, working on regional vulnerability and climate change adaptation at the European Environment Agency.

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EU policies deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions

The European Union has been reducing its greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. The EU has ‘over-achieved’ its Kyoto target for the period 2008–2012 and is projected to ‘over-achieve’ its 2020 targets. Can we reduce GHG emissions and have a strong economy at the same time? What was the impact of the recent recession on the EU’s GHG emissions? Does policy work?

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Every breath we take

Every breath we take

30 Jul 2013

We breathe from the moment we are born until the moment we die. It is a vital and constant need, not only for us but for all life on Earth. Poor air quality affects us all: it harms our health and the health of the environment, which leads to economic losses. But what does the air we breathe consist of and where do the various air pollutants come from?

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The melting Arctic

The melting Arctic

12 Jan 2013

The extent of the sea ice in the Arctic reached a new record low in September 2012. Climate change is melting the sea ice in the region at a rate much faster than estimated by earlier projections. The snow cover also shows a downward trend. The melting Arctic might impact not only the people living in the region, but also elsewhere in Europe and beyond.

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Turning the urban challenge into an opportunity

Copenhagen, 2 July 2011. Up to 150 mm of rainfall in two hours – a city record since measurements began in the mid-1800s. Homes destroyed. Citizens and emergency services struggled to cope. This is one example of how excessive extreme weather events can affect a European capital – events that are expected more often under climate change.

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Forests, health and climate change

Forests are essential to our survival and well-being. Forests clean our air, our water, our soil and they regulate our climate, amongst many other things. Trees and forests are not always associated with urban landscapes. However, there too they provide invaluable, often invisible, services. Simply by acting as 'green oasis' in our concrete jungles, they offer recreation and health services for many European citizens.

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Health in a changing climate

In August 2007, local health authorities in Italy detected a high number of cases of an unusual illness in Castiglione di Cervia and Castiglione di Ravenna, two small villages divided by a river. Almost 200 people were affected and one elderly man died (Angelini et al., 2007).

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Reducing speed limits on motorways: how good is it for the environment?

Lower speed limits on motorways are generally associated with road safety. But several European countries are now debating whether they also benefit the environment and, if so, how much. There is no simple way of measuring the environmental benefits of lower speed limits but several factors clearly play a key role.

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Power to the people

Power to the people

15 Mar 2011

In modern societies, almost everything consumes energy. It is not only electronic gadgets, household appliances or street lighting that need it. Bringing water to our homes or food products to our supermarkets also require energy. Current consumption and production patterns demand a steady and often increasing energy supply.

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Tackling climate change requires a shift to a resource efficient, low carbon and green economy

Climate change is happening. The current global average temperature is already about 0.7-0.8 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial level. Even if greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations had stabilized in the year 2000, temperatures are predicted to increase by 1.2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level by the end of the 21st century.

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Cross border nature

Cross border nature

29 Sep 2010

In Eastern France and Western Germany there is 3000km2 of a biosphere reserve called ‘Parc Naturel Régional des Vosges du Nord – Pfälzerwald’. It is the largest uninterrupted forest area in Western Europe.

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Mission Greenland – For a Cleaner Future

For the first time the waste in Greenland has been analyzed and the result is alarming. All households and industries need to get better at separating their waste. It’s a crucial mission and everyone needs to be involved, if Greenland is to have a cleaner and greener future.

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City bees

City bees

29 Sep 2010

It is estimated that honey bees are the most valuable pollinators of crops worldwide. But in recent years there has been a global trend of honey bees declining in numbers. The way in which they live means that they fly out and collect pollen from plants and pollinate them. In a modern world this means also bringing back pesticides, which is killing them or making them vulnerable to diseases. In the cities they are not exposed to pesticides, so The Project City Bees give bee populations a helping hand, help pollinate our world, and produce some of the cleanest honey around.

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Climate change "mitigation impossible" without transport

As the source of substantial and rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions, transport must clearly be part of a global agreement to mitigate climate change.

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Not just hot air — global diplomacy and the search for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol

Every winter the gates of Copenhagen's famous Tivoli Gardens, an old-world amusement park in the city centre, open to officially mark the beginning of the extended Christmas period. This December the twinkling lights of Tivoli will most likely be outshone by COP 15 — the most important global climate change meeting ever — as thousands of diplomats, politicians, business people, environmentalists, media and climate experts from around the globe flock to the Danish capital.

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Cities of the future — how will European cities adapt to new climate conditions?

Cities and towns are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and will need to find innovative ways to adapt. Now is the time to start rethinking urban design and management — yet few have taken concrete action.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100