Increasing some tax rates and removing subsidies on environmentally harmful products and services can boost economic growth if the revenue generated is then used to relieve the tax burden on employment and investment.
The average car sold in the EU in 2012 was 9 % more fuel-efficient than the average three years before, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Improved technology and an increase in the share of diesel cars are the main reasons behind the fall in average CO2 emissions.
Road charges for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs or lorries) should reflect the varied health effects of traffic pollution in different European countries. This means charges should be much higher in some countries compared to others, according to analysis from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Ozone pollution still exceeded target levels in Europe during summer 2012, but the number of exceedances of the alert threshold was lower than in any year since monitoring started in 1997. However, almost all EU Member States failed to keep levels of the pollutant within targets set to protect human health.
In 2011, average CO2 vehicle emissions for most carmakers were below target levels estimated for 2012. This was the situation for 47 carmakers, responsible for 95% of the new cars registered in the EU in 2011, according to the latest European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis.
Water pollution and physical modifications are still affecting the ecology of many of Europe’s lakes, rivers, transitional water bodies and coastal waters. These problems are likely to prevent the water bodies reaching ‘good’ status by 2015, a target set by the EU’s Water Framework Directive (WFD).
Emissions of greenhouse gases in the European Union (EU) fell on average by 2.5 % from 2010 to 2011, although several countries increased emissions. Almost all European countries are individually on track towards their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol compared to last year, according to two reports published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The continuing loss of biodiversity – made up of genes, species and ecosystems – is a matter of growing concern in Europe. Yet measuring the extent of the loss and the threat it poses is a huge challenge.
Air pollution emitted from sources such as traffic, industry and households is still above internationally agreed limits in many European countries, according to data published today. The accompanying report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) confirms an initial assessment published earlier this year, showing 12 EU Member States exceeded limits under the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive in 2010.
Europeans are buying cars that are more efficient. Average carbon dioxide emissions per kilometre continue to fall in Europe, according to preliminary figures released today. The 2011 data from the European Environment Agency (EEA) also show that car manufacturers are mostly on track to meeting European Union (EU) targets.
The world continues to speed down an unsustainable path despite over 500 internationally agreed goals and objectives to support the sustainable management of the environment and improve human wellbeing, according to a new and wide-ranging assessment coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The world needs to move away from measuring success in purely economic terms, and should instead consider other criteria, including distribution of resources, sustainability, health, human rights and education. These were the discussions in a landmark meeting of the United Nations (UN), calling for new measurements of wellbeing beyond GDP in the run up to the Rio sustainability summit in June.
Climate change is already evident in Europe. Across the continent, policy makers are starting to respond to current and future impacts and risks associated with rising temperatures, changing precipitation, melting glaciers, ice and snow, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense floods and droughts.
Europe needs to redouble efforts in using water more efficiently to avoid undermining its economy, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Inefficient water use impacts hard on the resources needed by ecosystems and people, both vital assets for European productivity and security.
European governments could simultaneously reduce income tax, increase innovation and cut pollution by introducing well-targeted environmental taxes and recycling the revenues back into the economy. This was one of the findings from a pair of reports on environmental tax reform (ETR) published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Several carmakers need to make their fleets even more carbon-efficient in order to meet 2012 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions target, according to updated data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The data also show that almost all manufacturers must reduce emissions to meet 2015 targets under European legislation for new passenger cars, based on average CO2 emissions for each manufacturer.
A new way forward has been agreed upon in Durban, South Africa, after two weeks of climate change negotiations. The European Union welcomed the agreement from the COP17 climate conference as a breakthrough in the fight against climate change.
As we prepare for a future yet unwritten, a cascade of uncertainty presents itself - the future structure of our society and economies is uncertain; the environmental changes that may result are uncertain; and how we might react or adapt to such environmental changes is also uncertain. Against the backdrop of these and many other uncertainties, long-term analysis can help create more robust environmental policy and the space for innovative thinking.
Today, the European Commission launched its proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013. The key objective is ‘to strengthen the competitiveness, sustainability and permanence of agriculture throughout the EU in order to secure for European citizens a healthy and high-quality source of food, preserve the environment and develop rural areas’. The proposals tie financial support more closely to environmental goals.
Mobile phones and other digital devices are now a big part of modern life – but are they dangerous? There were an estimated 5.3 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2010, so if mobile phone use is linked to head cancers, the implications are immense. We look at the scientific uncertainty in this area, and what this means for policy.
Resource efficiency is a policy priority for Europe. However, across the region there are many different approaches to ‘doing more with less’, as shown by a survey of countries’ policies, carried out by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The budget is one area where governments can influence our interaction with the environment – encouraging beneficial behaviour, and discouraging environmental destruction. As a conference on environmental fiscal reform opens at the European Environment Agency (EEA), we consider the potential for using financial carrots and sticks to improve the environment.
Climate change, growing consumption and urbanisation, spiralling resource use and new health risks are just some of the global pressures the world will face in the 21st Century. These are the findings from the Assessment of Global Megatrends, launched in November 2010 as part of the State and Outlook of the European Environment Report (SOER) and now published in a new book version.
Preliminary data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) show that new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU) in 2010 are emitting 3.7 % less CO2 per kilometre travelled than new cars from 2009. A new data viewer with confirmed data will be available in October allowing consumers to compare the carbon efficiency of cars from different manufacturers.
Demand for land in Europe is high. Food and biomass production, housing, infrastructure and recreation all compete for space, with impacts on our climate, biodiversity and ecosystem services. In a recent assessment, the European Environment Agency (EEA) analyses land use change in Europe, concluding that we need an integrated policy approach based on reliable data to balance sectoral demands and manage land sustainably.
Our demand for water and wastewater discharges, often have a substantial impact on the quality and quantity of freshwater resources. On World Water Day, 22 March, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and partners presented a new and improved version of the web portal Water Information System for Europe (WISE).
In recent decades, the EU has introduced a range of policies to improve air quality by controlling pollutant emissions. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) evaluates three key instruments and finds that they have significantly improved Europe's air quality and reduced pollution-induced health effects. There is scope for even more progress, however, if countries achieve all their binding commitments to reduce emissions.
What we know about Europe’s environment comes from data collected by countless data providers. The Belgian Presidency of the European Union and the European Environment Agency (EEA) organised a conference to facilitate the sharing of environmental information.
A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that large drop in emissions seen in 2008 and 2009 gives EU-15 a head start to reach and even overachieve its 8 % reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol. Austria, Denmark and Italy, however, need to step up their current efforts until 2012 to ensure that their contribution to the common EU-15 target is delivered. The EEA report also shows that EU-27 is well on track towards achieving its 20 % reduction target by 2020.
Europe is still far from meeting its 2010 target and we risk missing future targets unless we change the way we are managing our environment. The European Environment Agency’s new biodiversity report based on SEBI 2010 indicators assesses the state of biodiversity in Europe and makes recommendations for improving policy effectiveness.
Europe’s coastal zones are under increasing pressure from erosion, pollution, climate change, urbanisation and tourism. Such pressures threaten entire ecosystems — vital not only for wildlife but also for the economy and human well-being. The European Environment Agency (EEA) takes a closer look at the state of coastal ecosystems and policy responses to the pressures affecting them.
At the opening session of the Green Week conference in Brussels, the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) unveiled two new tools to combat biodiversity loss: BISE (the Biodiversity Information System for Europe) and 'Biodiversity baseline'. BISE is a web portal centralising information about European biodiversity in a single location. The baseline offers a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of biodiversity and will be used to monitor progress in the renewed efforts to halt biodiversity loss.
In 2010, around half of the European Union's Member States expect to miss one or more of the legal limits set by the National Emission Ceilings Directive. According to recent data compiled by the European Environment Agency (EEA), 11 countries expect to exceed their ceilings by significant amounts — some missing NOx targets by more than 40 %.
Some countries are frontrunners on waste recycling and prevention; others could be inspired by these experiences. The European Environment Agency (EEA) and its European Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (ETC/SCP) have compiled a set of fact sheets presenting information on national strategies, targets and instruments for prevention and better management of waste.
Clean fresh water is essential to life. Unfortunately, almost all human activities affect water quality. On World Water Day, 22 March, the European Environment Agency (EEA) is enriching the information on the web-based Water Information System for Europe (WISE) with two new sets of data on urban waste water and pollutant releases.
Continuous change in agricultural land use directly affects Europe's biodiversity. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) finds that Common Agricultural Policy payments could be used more effectively to support High Nature Value farmland and help halt biodiversity loss.
On the occasion of Copenhagen Culture Night, the European Environment Agency (EEA) unveils today a webpage on its activities related to the international climate conference 'COP15'. The new webpage explains the EEA's role in the context of the international climate conference. It allows the public to explore the role of the EEA as leading European body providing authoritative information on the effects of climate change mitigation policies and the impacts of climate change.
Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund are the European Union's main financial instruments to reduce the gap between poor and rich regions. In its new report, the European Environment Agency evaluates the effectiveness of these funds in achieving environmental goals by focusing on investments in wastewater treatment, biodiversity, and energy efficiency and renewable energy in three pilot countries: Austria, Italy and Spain.
The European Environment Agency yesterday received the WWF award for Conservation Merit 2009. The award is given in recognition of long-standing commitment to local, grassroots conservation. The Agency was presented the award in recognition of its consistent excellence in collecting, analysing, interpreting and communicating environmental data to improve decision making in Europe and globally.
Today, 22 May, is the International Day for Biological Diversity. To help policy-makers, civil society and the public tackle biodiversity loss, the European Environment Agency has placed biodiversity and ecosystems at the heart of its strategy and work programme for 2009–2013.
Biodiversity loss and climate change are now a part of our lives. Both are rooted in overexploitation of natural resources. Both require a coherent policy response. The Syracuse Charter and the Athens Conference underline the strong political commitment to take action. To ensure our society and economy have a healthy future, we need a way to assess our impacts on the natural world. The European Environment Agency's European Ecosystem Assessment (EURECA) responds to that need.
Europe clears forests, ploughs fields, drains wetlands and builds cities and roads, often at the expense of natural ecosystems. But how much does our current consumption and production affect the integrity of ecosystems? How much and how fast is the loss of biodiversity in Europe? The European Environment Agency (EEA) has provided some answers to these questions at a high-level conference organised this week by the European Commission.
Stockholm and Hamburg have been named as the European Green Capitals for 2010 and 2011, respectively, in recognition of their consistent records of high environmental standards and strong commitment to further improvement. The European Environment Agency took part in the evaluation panel and the final jury.
A step closer to a post-2012 deal on climate change is what is at stake as over 10 000 participants from governments, non-governmental organisations, and science and business communities gather for a two-week UN conference in Poznań, Poland. The European Environment Agency (EEA) is hosting a side event on 'Impacts of and adaptation to climate change in Europe' on 11 December 2008.
Urban areas are spreading, minimising the time and distances between and in-and-out of cities. The International Planning Congress in Dalian, China, addressed this ‘urban sprawl’ and sought ways to achieve sustainable urbanisation. The European Environment Agency contributed to this debate by urging policy makers to tackle underpinning consumption patterns.
The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative is today being re-launched under a new name: Kopernikus. To mark the start of its pre-operational phase, a major Conference on this initiative is taking place under the French Presidency of the EU at Lille. Kopernikus will contribute to the better collection and dissemination of environmental data, core tasks of the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Do we really need to print everything? Could we replace travelling for meetings by video-conferencing? How could we increase energy efficiency in our offices? For the fourth consecutive year, the European Environment Agency has successfully passed an external audit, certifying its compliance with the rules of the Eco-Management Audit Scheme (EMAS).
Environmental taxes on construction materials can be a key element in achieving better sustainability in the construction sector, says a report presented today by the European Environment Agency. The study reviews taxation schemes for extractive activities in the Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom, focusing on a EUR 15.2 billion industry producing essential materials for the construction sector.
SEBI 2010 (Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity Indicators) has received an award from the Spanish magazine 'Red Life' and the Fundación Caja Rural del Sur as 'one of 10 best ideas to save nature in 2008'. The European Environment Agency is coordinating this pan-European initiative to measure and help achieve progress towards the target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010.
Public authorities across Europe collect a vast range of environmental data but different practices of classification and reporting make it difficult to access them and use them for cross-border analyses.
Waste management strategies must be customised to individual national conditions if they are to prove effective, according to a new EEA brochure released today. The brochure, 'The road from landfilling to recycling: common destination, different routes' is accompanied by a set of online national factsheets on waste management covering the EU-25.
The countdown to the Sixth 'Environment for Europe' Ministerial Conference has started. The conference, taking place from 10–12 October 2007 in Belgrade, Serbia, is organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The launch of the EEA report 'Europe's environment — The fourth assessment' will be a key event on the first day. The report assesses environmental progress in 53 countries — an area with a total population of more than 870 million people.
The St Andrews Prize for the Environment is still accepting applications for its 2008 annual prize worth $ 50 000. The prize, which is one of the biggest environmental prizes worldwide, celebrates its 10th anniversary next year.
The European Environment Agency has successfully passed the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme for the third consecutive year. The EEA was the first EU body to gain registration under EMAS. In 2004, the Agency introduced its own environmental management system to make sure it continued improving its environmental performance.
Setting a trend in the way organisations deal with their carbon footprints, the European Environment Agency has introduced its own carbon offsetting scheme. The Agency bought EUR 13 500 carbon offsets corresponding to 673 tonnes of CO2 emissions for its air travel in 2006. This sum covers both air travel of staff attending meetings and conferences outside Denmark and invited guests coming to the Agency.
A gradual shift of today’s taxes away from personal income and capital towards taxes on consumption, pollution, and inefficient use of energy and resources can boost employment, eco-innovation and protect the environment. This is the message Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, will deliver today at Brussels Tax Forum 2007.
The European Environment Agency was pipped at the post for the 2006 European EMAS Award in Athens on 13 November. The Agency qualified for the European finals ceremony after receiving the Danish national prize for the best EMAS communication by a medium-sized enterprise.
Latvia and Austria topped the list for delivering environmental data to the European Environment Agency (EEA), followed by Sweden, Bulgaria and Slovakia, according to a new report released today. Overall performance by countries was up by 5 % compared to the previous reporting cycle. Many of the new EU Member States performed particularly well.
Europe requires an integrated policy framework balancing the goals of energy security and competitiveness with environment policy, says a new report released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA), based in Copenhagen.
Environmental efforts pursued through the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) need to be better targeted geographically to maximise their effectiveness according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), based in Copenhagen.
Good environmental regulation in Europe can support a clean, competitive economy and a healthy environment in which to work and live, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) network's first joint paper, launched today.
The first digital map of the multiple changes that have occurred in Europe's landscapes since 1990 was unveiled today, enabling policy-makers to draw lessons from how their decisions in areas such as agriculture and transport are impacting on the region's finite land resources and the wider environment.
The Arctic's unique environment and indigenous peoples are under increasing threat from industrial activities and the region is likely to change drastically unless decision-makers in the European Union and elsewhere address the challenges seriously.
Professor Jacqueline McGlade, an environmental scientist active across a broad spectrum of the life sciences, is to be the next Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA), the main European-level provider of environmental information to policy makers and the public.
Many of us might spend up to 90 % of our day indoors — at home, work or school. The quality of the air we breathe indoors also has a direct impact on our health. What determines indoor air quality? ...
Encourage your workplace to develop a sustainable transport policy for business trips. You can buy carbon credits to off-set flights, minimise physical meetings involving travel by using conference or video-calls or take a sleeper train instead of flying.
More green tips