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EEA Signals 2013 - Every breath we take

Improving air quality in Europe: Signals 2013 focuses on Europe’s air. This year’s edition tries to explain the current state of air quality in Europe, where they come from, how air pollutants form, and how they affect our health and the environment. It also gives an overview of the way we build our knowledge on air, and how we tackle air pollution through a wide range of policies and measures.

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Managing municipal solid waste - a review of achievements in 32 European countries

Improved waste management is an essential element in efforts to make Europe more resource efficient. One key means of achieving that is by shifting waste management up the waste hierarchy. In recent years these important goals have been integrated into European environmental policy. But national efforts to shift up the waste hierarchy have been under way for longer. Together, these instruments establish a range of waste management targets and broader goals for the years to 2020.

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Environmental pressures from European consumption and production

A study in integrated environmental and economic analysis - This report, prepared within the broad framework of EEA work on environmental accounts, presents and describes the tool of environmentally extended input-output analysis and illustrates its potential uses. The report aims to: present the tool of environmentally extended input-output analysis of EE-IOT and assess its potential for answering key SCP policy questions; make use of the tool and the latest data available in Europe to identify the environmental 'hotspots' and leverage points in European consumption and production; and identify weaknesses and potential for improvement in the current application of the tool.

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Monitoring CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in the EU: summary of data for 2011

For the second year, the EEA has collected Member States' data on passenger car registrations, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 (CO2 from cars). All Member States reported information on CO2 emissions and the mass of cars, together with other vehicle characteristics. This data was used to evaluate the performance in 2011 of the new vehicle fleet, and its progress toward meeting the CO2 emissions target of 130 gCO2/km by 2015.

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Environmental tax reform in Europe: opportunities for eco-innovation

Environmental policy instruments are frequently characterised as obstacles to economic activity but environmental taxes can, in fact, be the opposite — serving as catalysts for the creativity that underpins thriving economies.

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Environmental tax reform in Europe: implications for income distribution

Although environmental tax reforms (ETR) tend to improve incomes across society, they can have mild regressive impacts in that richer households gain more than poorer ones. Care is needed to design ETRs in ways that ensure that certain groups are able to benefit equally. ETR's overall benefits for the economy, environment and society are potentially significant. ETR should therefore be regarded as a key element in the policymaking toolkit for shifting to a green economy.

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An experimental framework for ecosystem capital accounting in Europe

This report presents an overall experimental framework for ecosystem capital accounting. It is based on the to implement simplified ecosystem capital accounts for Europe as a 'fast-track' initiative launched by the European Environment Agency in 2010. The experimental framework highlights accounting balances and relationships between accounting tables and systems as well as key indicators and aggregates that describe economy ecosystem interactions. Ecosystem accounts are being developed as part of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts which aims at supplementing the UN System of National Accounts with information on the environment and natural capital.

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Resource efficiency in Europe — Policies and approaches in 31 EEA member and cooperating countries

This report provides an overview of resource efficiency policies and instruments in 31 member and cooperating countries of the EEA’s Eionet network. A detailed survey was conducted during the first half of 2011 to collect, analyse and disseminate information about national experiences in developing and implementing resource efficiency policies, with the goal to facilitate the sharing of experiences and good practice. The report reviews national approaches to resource efficiency and explores similarities and differences in policies, strategies, indicators and targets, policy drivers and institutional setup. It concludes with some EEA considerations for development of future policies on resource efficiency at the EU and country levels. The analysis is illustrated with short examples of policy initiatives in the countries, described in more detail in the country profiles published together with the report.

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Greenhouse gas emissions in Europe: a retrospective trend analysis for the period 1990 - 2008

This report presents a retrospective overview of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trends in Europe from 1990 to 2008, with a particular focus on the underpinning drivers and the influence of EU policies. The analysis is based on the combination of decomposition analyses to identify the respective influence of each identified driver and an overview of the main EU policies and their likely effects on these drivers. The period covered by the analysis stops in 2008. As a result, the analysis does not address the effects of the recent economic crisis on GHG emissions. This reinforces the conclusion on long-term emission drivers. The report covers the EU-27 and presents results for the other European Environment Agency (EEA) member countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey) and Croatia (EU candidate country, together with Turkey) as far as data are available.

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Catalogue of scenario studies — Knowledge base for Forward-Looking Information and Services

The report brings together a review of available scenarios studies relevant to environmental assessment and decision-making at the European (or sub-European) scale (263 studies), and facts sheets of selected 44 studies using common description categories, which enables the user to review existing scenario studies that may be of relevance to their particular interest and benefit from them. It is also a contribution to the evolving knowledge base for Forward-Looking Information and Services (FLIS).

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Knowledge base for Forward-Looking Information and Services (FLIS)

Knowledge base for Forward-looking information and services (FLIS) is a platform to support long-term decision-making. The aim of FLIS is to introduce forward-looking components and perspectives into existing environmental information systems and to expand the knowledge base and its use.

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Tracking progress towards Kyoto and 2020 targets in Europe

This report presents an overview of the progress achieved so far by the EU, its Member States and other EEA member countries towards their respective targets under the Kyoto Protocol and the EU burden-sharing agreement. The assessment is based on greenhouse gas emission data in Europe for 2008, the first year of the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period which runs from 2008 to 2012. The recent availability of 2009 emissions estimates for the EU and a limited number of countries broadens, in these cases, the basis of the assessment to two years of the five-year commitment period.

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Eionet priority data flows May 2009-April 2010

Eionet data flow progress report

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The territorial dimension of environmental sustainability – Potential territorial indicators to support the environmental dimension of territorial cohesion

This study undertakes an analysis of the environmental dimensions of territorial cohesion and of related EU policies. It is intended to contribute to and support external processes including the European Commission's Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion, revision of the EU budget (e.g. regarding Cohesion Policy) and the work of ESPON (the European Spatial Planning Observation Network) on territorial indicator development.

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EU 2010 Biodiversity Baseline

The EU 2010 Biodiversity Baseline provides facts and figures on the state and trends of the different biodiversity and ecosystem components. It thereby supports the EU in developing the post‑2010 sub‑targets and provides factual data for measuring and monitoring progress in the EU from 2011 to 2020.

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10 messages for 2010 — protected areas

Protected areas provide a wide range of services in a context of increasing pressures and a rapidly changing environment. Europe is the region with the greatest number of protected areas in the world but they are relatively small in size. Europe's Natura 2000, unique in the world and still young, and the Emerald network under development, are international European networks of protected areas that catalyse biodiversity conservation.

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Ecosystem accounting and the cost of biodiversity losses — the case of coastal Mediterranean wetlands

This report focuses on ways we can use land and ecosystem accounting techniques to describe and monitor the consequences of biodiversity loss in the coastal wetlands of the Mediterranean. These ecosystems are characterised by the close coupling of economic, social and ecological processes, and any accounting system has to represent how these key elements are linked and change over time. This report discusses the importance of estimating the ecological and social costs of maintaining these systems, and the problems surrounding providing monetary estimates of the services associated with wetlands. It also shows how individual wetland socio-ecological systems (SES) can be defined and mapped using the remotely sensed land cover information from Corine Land Cover.

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Distribution and targeting of the CAP budget from a biodiversity perspective

The EU has highlighted the importance of using the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) to prevent the abandonment of high nature value farmland and its intensification as a key action to halt biodiversity decline. The present report sets out to assess whether the current distribution of CAP funds is likely to favour the maintenance of farmland with high nature value (HNV). And it explores the extent to which CAP funds are likely to support the long-term economic and ecological sustainability of these HNV farming systems.

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