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Essential for the generation of industrial, commercial and societal wealth, energy also provides personal comfort and mobility. But its production and consumption place considerable pressures on the environment: greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, land use, waste generation and oil spills. These pressures contribute to climate change, damage natural ecosystems and the man-made environment, and have adverse effects on human health. More
- Key facts and messages
- The EU has adopted two new energy targets: increasing renewables to minimum 27% of EU energy use and improving energy efficiency by a minimum of 27% by 2030. Further efforts beyond currently implemented policies are needed to keep the EU on... more
- From 1990 to 2012 there was an increase in the share of renewable energy in GIEC in 32 out of 34 countries. more
- The EU's energy intensity decreased between 1990 and 2012 while renewables increased strongly. Latest data confirm that the EU is on track towards its 2020 energy targets: increasing renewables to 20% of energy use and reducing primary energy... more
- There was a small overall increase in gross inland energy consumption (GIEC) from 1990 to 2012, however national trends varied significantly with consumption increasing in 20 and decreasing in 13 countries. 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.
The future looks bright for renewable energy sources which are playing an increasingly important role as Europe tries to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. We talked about the opportunities and challenges ahead for clean energy with Mihai Tomescu, energy expert at the European Environment Agency.
With the recent publication of the EEA’s annual Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) for 2015, and with international attention focusing on the ongoing vehicle emissions scandal, we spoke with the EEA’s TERM coordinator, Alfredo Sánchez Vicente.
TERM 2016: Transport indicators tracking progress towards environmental targets in Europe
This report was developed in cooperation with the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) — a partnership network of the EEA and its member and cooperating countries involving more than 1 000 experts and 350 national institutions across Europe. Drawing on evidence collected from across the network, the report represents an initial attempt to explore what the concepts of sustainability transitions and transformations mean in practice, and how the EEA and Eionet can help develop the knowledge needed to support systemic change in Europe. Case studies are used to explain and illustrate key concepts and to give a sense of what activities are already under way at local levels. The report concludes with reflections from the EEA's Scientific Committee and Executive Director, which provide further insights into the new knowledge needs and the potential role of the EEA and Eionet in responding to them.
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.
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.