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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.
From efficient water use to quitting fossil fuels – survey shows different approaches to resource efficiency across Europe10 Oct 2011
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.
For references, please go to http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/policy/highlights/highlights_topic or scan the QR code.
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