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.
When taken as a single variable, population density, transport infrastructure, soil types, land use and terrain characteristics, might tell only a part of the story. What links them together and allows us to get a better understanding of what is happening where? How does spatial data help improve Europe's environmental policies? We asked these questions to Stefan Jensen, who leads a group working on implementing the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) – with a focus on spatial reference data – at the European Environment Agency.
Europe selected its new policy makers. They will need to address not only today's challenges but also set in motion policies that will affect Europeans well beyond their five-year mandate. What do they need to do today to make sure that Europeans live well in the future? By taking action at the EU level and tackling environment and climate issues, EU policy makers can actually revive the economy and guarantee our long-term well-being.
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.
The European Union has been reducing its greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. The EU has ‘over-achieved’ its Kyoto target for the period 2008–2012 and is projected to ‘over-achieve’ its 2020 targets. Can we reduce GHG emissions and have a strong economy at the same time? What was the impact of the recent recession on the EU’s GHG emissions? Does policy work?
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.
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.
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.
The EEA has collected EU Member States' data on passenger car registrations, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 443/2009. All Member States reported information on Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the mass of cars, together with other vehicle characteristics. This data was used to evaluate the performance in 2013 of the new vehicle fleet, and its progress toward meeting the CO2 emissions target of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre (gCO2/km) by 2015. The current dataset is provisional, and will now be sent for verification to all car manufacturers responsible for cars registered in the EU in 2013.
We need to change the way we produce goods and services. We need to ‘green’ our economy. But this does not consist of developing just a number of selected sectors, such as renewables, eco-innovation, corresponding to 5 or even 10 percent of our economy. It requires greening the entire economy. The question is: ‘How do we create a performing economy that creates jobs and ensures our well-being, and yet respects the limits of our planet?’
There are several methods for accounting for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The European Environment Agency (EEA) explains the key characteristics of different emissions accounting methods, highlighting the need for methodological improvements as well as better data coverage and quality.
In 2012, the average new van sold in the European Union emitted 180.2 g of carbon dioxide for every kilometre travelled, which is close to the 175 g CO2/km target to be gradually phased in between next year and 2017.
The European economy is still feeling the impact of the economic crisis that started in 2008. Unemployment and pay cuts have affected millions. When new graduates cannot find jobs in one of the richest parts of the world, should we talk about the environment? The European Union's new environmental action programme does exactly this, but not only. It also identifies the environment as an integral and inseparable part of our health and our economy.
We live in a world of continuous change. How can we steer these on-going changes to achieve global sustainability by 2050? How can we strike a balance between the economy and the environment, the short-term and the long-term? The answer lies in how we manage the transition process without locking ourselves into unsustainable systems.
European Union Member States are showing mixed progress towards three climate and energy targets for 2020, even though the EU as a whole could reduce greenhouse gases emissions by 21% in 2020 with the set of national measures already adopted. These findings come from new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessments.
Fluorinated gases, otherwise known as F-gases, are a range of industrial gases which have a powerful effect on the climate. As EU policy makers consider further proposals to limit the use of these gases, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has published data on their production, import and export.
Data reported by companies on the production, import and export
of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the European Union
Our knowledge and understanding of air pollution is growing every year. We have an expanding network of monitoring stations reporting data on a wide range of air pollutants, complemented with results from air quality models. We now have to make sure that scientific knowledge and policy continue to develop hand in hand.