The number of population-weighted heating degree days (HDD) decreased by 8.2 % between the 1951–1980 and 1981–2014 periods; the decrease during the 1981–2014 period was on average 9.9 HDDs per year (0.45 % per year). The largest absolute decrease occurred in northern and north-western Europe.
The number of population-weighted cooling degree days (CDD) increased by 49.1 % between the 1951–1980 and 1981–2014 periods; the increase during the period 1981–2014 was on average 1.2 HDDs per year (1.9 % per year). The largest absolute increase occurred in southern Europe.
The projected decrease in HDDs as a result of future climate change during the 21st century is somewhat larger than the projected increase in CDDs in absolute terms. However, in economic terms, these two effects are almost equal in Europe, because cooling is generally more expensive than heating.
The projected increases in the cooling demand in southern and central Europe may further exacerbate peaks in electricity demand in the summer unless appropriate adaptation measures are taken.
The world’s population increased from 2.5 billion in 1950 to around 7.3 billion in 2015, and is expected to continue to rise until 2050/2100 under most UN projection variants. Assuming the ‘medium fertility’ projection variant, global population might increase to 9.7 billion by 2050, and rise further to 11.2 billion by 2100. However, if fertility and mortality rates stay at current levels (i.e. assuming the ‘no change’ projection variant), growth rates are projected to be substantially higher, with global population possibly rising to 10.2 billion by 2050 and 19.3 billion by 2100.
The expected global population growth is projected to be largely driven by increases in Asia and particularly in Africa. While the Asian population is expected to peak by 2050, Africa’s population is projected to grow strongly and continuously, from 1.2 billion today to about 4.5 billion by 2100, under ‘medium fertility’ assumptions.
The total population of the EU-28 is projected to increase slightly from 505 million currently to 510 million by 2030, and then to decrease in the subsequent decades to some 465 million by 2100, under ‘medium fertility’ assumptions. The age structure is projected to change substantially, with an increase of the share of people aged 65 years or older from 19 % currently to 30 % by 2050 and further to 32 % by 2100, under ‘medium fertility’ assumptions.
Between 2006 and 2009, soil sealing, or imperviousness, increased in all EEA-39 countries by a total of 4 364 k m 2 . This corresponds to an annual average increase of 1 454 k m 2 , or 0.027 % of the total EEA-39 area. During this period, the rate of increase in soil sealing relative to country area varied from 0.001 % to 0.48 %. In 2009, the percentage of a countries' total area that was sealed also varied greatly, with values ranging from 0.15 % to 15.23 %. The highest sealing values, as a percentage of country area, occurred in small countries with high population densities, while the lowest sealing values could be found in large countries with low population densities.
The most problematic situation occurs in countries where there is already a high percentage of sealing and where the annual rate of increase relative to country area is high.
The manufacturing industry in 11 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) has achieved absolute decoupling of nutrient emissions from economic growth (GVA). A decrease in emissions coupled with a decrease in gross value added (GVA) occurred in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Belgium and Finland. However, in all cases (except Finland), the rate of emissions decrease was greater than that of GVA. An increase in nutrient emissions, accompanying the growth in GVA, was observed in Slovakia and Poland.
These developments arise from different absolute levels of emissions intensities and depend on there being no major changes in data coverage - such as including more facilities in the most recent reporting year despite them already existing in the earliest reporting year - within the countries during the reporting period. It should be noted that, as some industrial emissions may vary considerably from year to year, the comparison of just two selected years might be subject to variations, and not be representative of a consistent trend.
The achievement of absolute decoupling of manufacturing industries' heavy metals emissions from economic growth (GVA) was observed again in 12 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden). A decrease in emissions, coupled with a decrease in GVA occurred in the United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium. In all cases, the decrease in the rate of emissions was greater than that of GVA (relative decoupling). An increase in emissions, despite a drop in GVA, was observed in Finland and France. Finally, a growth in emissions accompanying economic growth occurred in the manufacturing industry in Hungary.
Given the multiple factors that affect both sectoral GVA and the pollution pressure originating from manufacturing, it is complicated to draw direct relationships between these two variables. Some key descriptors, which could aid in explaining this behaviour, are the structure of the sector (e.g. facility size distribution, production technology, relative proportion reported as E-PRTR releases), the socioeconomic characteristics (e.g. salary levels) of the area and the policy and/or economic measures in place (e.g. treatment requirements, pollution charges, taxes). However, it must be noted that the specific context of each country could result in varying combinations of the factors mentioned and their aggregate effects.