Designing tax systems for a green economy transition

Environmental taxes can contribute to a healthier planet and healthier people. They also spur jobs and growth, are easy to administer and difficult to evade. However, meeting EU climate and other environmental policy targets will erode the existing base for these sort of taxes. This and other systemic factors have implications for the design of future tax systems in Europe, according to an EEA report published today.

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Communication tools can foster greener behaviour

Communication has a key role in supporting the implementation of environmental legislation, spurring public participation and can help foster environment-friendly behaviours to build a sustainable future. A European Environment Agency (EEA) study published today explores how communication can support legal and economic policy tools.

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Resource efficiency in Europe: benefits of doing more with less

Many European countries are realising the economic benefits of making more efficient use of material resources like metals, fossil fuels and minerals. But more action is needed to underpin this trend in resource efficiency with stronger policies on energy, material resources, waste management and on circular economy. These are the findings from a new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today.

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Better targeted measures needed to tackle urban sprawl in Europe

There is growing evidence that urban sprawl is having an increasingly negative effect on the environment and on the quality of life across Europe. Existing actions to prevent, contain or control such development have had limited results. Better targeted measures are necessary. That is the main conclusion of a joint European Environment Agency (EEA) and Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) report published today.

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Better integration of land use impacts needed across EU policies

Land is a valuable and limited resource. The environmental impact of land used for building new roads, houses or energy grids should be better integrated into European Union policies, according to a report released today by the European Environment Agency. A preliminary review on how land is used in the EU found that more attention should be paid to environmental concerns.

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Circular economy to have considerable benefits, but challenges remain

The environmental benefits of adopting a circular economy in Europe could be considerable – reducing waste, and minimising the continent’s heavy dependence on imports of raw materials. A new report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) draws attention to both the benefits and challenges of such an economic transition. The report also describes possible ways to measure progress and highlights the areas where more attention is required from research and policy in order to turn the concept into reality.

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Waste prevention: where do European countries stand?

Every year Europeans generate more than two billions of tonnes of waste, which does not only cause environmental problems but also represents an economic loss. Waste prevention lies at the centre of the European Union’s policies on waste and Member States have a legal obligation to adopt and implement waste prevention programmes. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) reviews 27 national and regional waste prevention programmes adopted by the end of 2014.

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Climate change adaptation in Europe: tracking progress and sharing know-how

An increasing number of initiatives and measures are being put in place to adapt to current and potential impacts of climate change at European, national, regional and local levels. It is now critical to understand better which actions work in which contexts and why. Where do countries stand in terms of tracking climate change adaptation in their territories? A new report by the European Environment Agency provides an overview of national monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) systems in European countries.

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CO2 emissions from new vehicles in Europe continued to decrease in 2014

Vehicles sold in the European Union in 2014 were, on average, 2.5% more efficient than those sold the previous year, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report, which updates the preliminary data published earlier this year, tracks progress towards CO2 emission targets for new passenger cars and vans.

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Climate change: EU shows leadership ahead of Paris with 23% emissions cut

The European Union is on track towards meeting and overachieving its 2020 target for reducing greenhouse emissions by 20%, according to a report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The "Trends and projections in Europe 2015" report reveals that greenhouse gas emissions in Europe decreased by 23% between 1990 and 2014 and reached the lowest levels on record. Latest projections by Member States show that the EU is heading for a 24% reduction by 2020 with current measures in place, and a 25% reduction with additional measures already being planned in Member States. The EU is already working towards its 2030 goal of an emissions reduction target of at least 40% — the EU's contribution towards the new global climate change agreement in Paris in December.

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Protecting marine life in Europe’s seas

Europe´s seas are under pressure. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can act as a key management measures to safeguard marine ecosystems and biodiversity so to maintain their potential to deliver key services to our societies and economies. European countries have been extending marine protected areas across Europe’s seas. More effective management of these marine protected areas and a convergent implementation of related legislation now constitute important challenges. A new report by the European Environment Agency assesses the progress made and concludes with perspectives for the future.

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State of nature in the EU: biodiversity still being eroded, but some local improvements observed

The majority of habitats and species in Europe have an unfavourable conservation status despite significant improvements for many species in recent years, according to a new technical report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today. The report presents the most comprehensive European overview on the conservation status and trends of the habitats and species covered by the European Union’s (EU) two nature directives. Building on the reports submitted by EU member states, the report contributes to policy discussions in the context of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy.

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Building a shared environmental information system with Eastern neighbours

The European Union's eastern neighbours have achieved progress in developing systems for collecting environmental information, according to a recently published analysis. However, they need to strengthen further their capacities to be able to produce regular, policy-relevant and indicator-based state of the environment reports.

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Energy support policies: putting the EU on a low-carbon path?

European countries have increased renewable energy’s share of energy consumption in recent years, in part thanks to support mechanisms for the renewables sector. A new report finds that many energy support policies could be better focused to lead the EU more effectively to decarbonise the energy sector.

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Car and van makers continue to meet CO2 emission targets ahead of schedule

Almost all car and van manufacturers have met European carbon dioxide emission limits several years ahead of their deadlines, according to updated information from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Extreme weather driving countries to adapt to climate change

Adapting to climate change has reached the political agenda in most European countries, according to the most comprehensive analysis of adaptation in Europe published to date. Extreme weather events and EU policies were the most common reasons for beginning to address adaptation.

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The 'green economy' can encourage jobs and innovation - study

Europe can create jobs and encourage innovation by using resources much more efficiently, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which describes a range of policies with proven environmental and economic benefits.

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EU reports lowest greenhouse gas emissions on record

The European Union's greenhouse gas emissions continued to fall in 2012, as a 1.3 % decrease cut emissions to 19.2 % below 1990 levels, according to official data from the European Environment Agency (EEA). This puts the EU within reach of its 20 % reduction target, with eight years to go until the 2020 deadline.

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New vans more fuel efficient

The average van sold in 2013 was around 4 % more efficient than the previous year, so the new vans fleet has already met the collective carbon emissions target ahead of the 2017 deadline, preliminary data shows. Similar findings were recently published for new cars, which have also met their target in advance.

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New cars meet CO2 target two years ahead of the deadline

Cars sold in 2013 were 4 % more efficient than the year before, according to provisional data. Average carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre have continued to fall, so in 2013 the European Union fleet already collectively met its legal target for 2015.

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