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Barcelona is becoming a leader in solar energy use, Malmö is developing a carbon neutral residential area and London is setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets. Cities are joining in the fight against climate change.
'Our water is shut off once or twice a month, sometimes more,' says Baris Tekin from his apartment in Besiktas, an historic district of Istanbul, where he lives with his wife and daughter. 'We have about 50 litres of bottled water in the apartment for washing and cleaning, just in case. If the water is off for a really long time we go to my father's place or to my wife's parents,' says Baris, an economics professor at Marmara University.
A fisherman's tale: on the night of 6 October 1986 lobster fishermen from the small town of Gilleleje, north of Copenhagen, fishing the Kattegat Sea, found their nets crammed with Norway lobster. Many of the animals were dead or dying. About half were a strange colour.
We already have much information to guide strategic climate change response measures at the EU, national, regional and local levels. But the effectiveness and efficiency of actions can be improved with more and better information.
Climate change adaptation must be integrated into policies across all sectors and engage all levels of society. To achieve this, new frameworks and governance structures are needed.
Climate change is happening and its effects are wide-ranging. While the worst effects may not hit Europe this year or next, we cannot afford to be complacent. Europeans must put in place timely, adequate and cost-effective adaptation measures.
The seas, and especially the European ones, are warming up. More likely than not, the Arctic will have ice-free summers well before the end of this century. Fish and plankton are already expanding their geographical distribution further north, and the seasonal cycles of certain species are changing.
Bioenergy is not new. For millennia, people have been burning wood. The industrial revolution in the mid-1800s brought so called 'fossil fuels', mainly coal and oil, to the fore. However, fossil fuels are becoming more difficult to find and extract, more expensive, and subject to intense political debate.
Last year alone there were 50 more melting days on the Greenland ice sheet than on average, meaning we now see an average net loss of ice mass of 200 gigatons per year - a level that is four times higher than just back in the year 2000.
The family run Fattoria La Vialla in Tuscany is a shining example of truly sustainable farming. Every element of the production chain, from preparing the soil through to packaging the produce, has been planned with the environment in mind.
The film explores how Greenland’s government is requiring high standards of extraction, demanding environmentally sustainable extraction methods as a minimum. The Finance Minister of Greenland, Maliina Abel, is interviewed and presents Greenland’s view and strategy on the matter.
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 01 Feb 2015, 05:55 PM