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Putting clean air laws in to practice – report shows potential for improvement

Air-related legislation in the EU aims to protect human health and the environment from pollution. But this legislation is not always fully implemented. Bridging this gap is the subject of a new publication from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Flood risk in Europe: the long-term outlook

Floods in Central Europe have caused deaths and widespread property damage across parts of the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. Such events are likely to increase in Europe for several reasons including climate change, according to recent assessments from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Every breath we take – Signals 2013 focuses on air quality in Europe

Poor air quality can have serious impacts on our health and the environment. How is Europe’s air quality? What are the main sources of air pollutants? How do they affect our health and the environment? What does Europe do to improve air quality? The new edition of the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals takes a closer look.

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Air pollution: breaches of legal limits continued through 2010 and 2011

Air pollutant emissions were above legal limits in eight Member States in 2011, preliminary data shows. In 2010, 12 Member States exceeded these limits, according to final official data reported under the European Union’s National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive.

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Highest recycling rates in Austria and Germany – but UK and Ireland show fastest increase

Austria, Germany and Belgium recycled the largest proportion of municipal waste in Europe in 2010. Although some countries have rapidly increased recycling rates, Europe is still wasting vast quantities of valuable resources by sending them to landfill, and many countries risk falling short of legally binding recycling targets.

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Climate change and flood risk in European cities

Increased flooding is likely to be one of the most serious effects from climate change in Europe over coming decades. Some of the conditions which may contribute to urban flooding are highlighted in a map from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Fewer summer ozone peaks in 2012, but levels still harmful

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.

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Europe's air story told in pictures

Air is a tricky subject to photograph, but this challenge has proved to be a source of inspiration for the winners of photo storycompetition ‘ImaginAIR’, organised by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Berlin park wins award for its soundscape design

A city park in Berlin has won the European Soundscape Award for its innovative design which cuts traffic noise and creates a more attractive acoustic environment. The prize, presented at a ceremony in London by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Noise Abatement Society (NAS), is intended to raise awareness of the health impacts of noise and recognise initiatives that help create more tranquil environments.

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Many Europeans still exposed to harmful air pollutants

Almost a third of Europe's city dwellers are exposed to excessive concentrations of airborne particulate matter (PM), one of the most important pollutants in terms of harm to human health as it penetrates sensitive parts of the respiratory system. The EU has made progress over the past decades to reduce the air pollutants which cause acidification, but a new report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that many parts of Europe have persistent problems with outdoor concentrations of PM and ground level ozone.

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European Mobility Week 2012: Moving in the right direction

Imagine a city with clean air and little noise. A place free of congestion, where getting around town is easy. To move towards this goal, cities need to develop sustainable and efficient urban transport systems which integrate all modes of transport both in the cities and in their surrounding areas. Citizens can help by making the right choices.

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How vulnerable could your city be to climate impacts?

Climate change will affect Europe's cities in different ways. To give an overall impression of the challenge for European cities to adapt to climate change, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a series of detailed interactive maps, allowing users to explore data from more than 500 cities across Europe.

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Copenhagen beats Bristol and Frankfurt to win European Green Capital 2014

The city of Copenhagen in Denmark has won the European Green Capital Award for 2014, fending off strong competition from two other finalists, Bristol in England and Frankfurt in Germany. Fourteen cities entered the competition, of which three finalist cities presented their vision, action plans and communication strategies to the jury earlier this month.

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Europe's future depends on cities resilient to climate change

Around three quarters of Europeans live in cities. Most of Europe's wealth is generated in cities, and urban areas are particularly at risk due to climate change. Europe should seize the opportunity of improving quality of life while adapting to climate change in cities, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report also warns that delaying adaptation will be much more costly in the long-term.

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Creating a quiet environment

Do you know someone who is doing something to create a healthy soundscape in your working environment, neighbourhood or municipality—implementing innovative solutions to noise problems or creating quiet green areas where the sounds of birds and bees can be enjoyed? If so, encourage them to apply for the European Soundscape Award 2012 which is open for submission from 25 April, the International Noise Awareness Day.

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More effort needed to reduce summer ozone

Ground level ozone causes health problems, decreases crop yields and damages the environment. Ozone levels exceeding certain targets in Europe were less frequent in summer 2011 than in any year since monitoring started in 1997. However, the long-term objective was exceeded in all EU Member States and it is likely many of them will not meet the target value, applicable as of 2010.

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Ozone and particulates most serious air quality problems in Europe

Air quality in Europe has improved between 1990 and 2009, as emissions of most pollutants have fallen, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). But there is still a lot of room for improvement, as many EU countries are expected to exceed the emissions ceilings in 2010 for at least one pollutant. In addition, concentration levels of ground-level ozone and particulate matter have remained stable over recent years despite efforts to improve air quality.

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European transport sector must be ambitious to meet targets

Emissions of many pollutants from transport fell in 2009. But this reduction may only be a temporary effect of the economic downturn, according to the latest annual report on transport emissions from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) explores the environmental impact of transport. For the first time, the report considers a comprehensive set of quantitative targets proposed by the European Commission’s 2011 roadmap on transport.

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Increasing fragmentation of landscape threatens European wildlife

Roads, motorways, railways, intensive agriculture and urban developments are breaking up Europe’s landscapes into ever-smaller pieces, with potentially devastating consequences for flora and fauna across the continent, according to a new joint report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The report, 'Landscape fragmentation in Europe', demonstrates how areas of land are often unable to support high levels of biodiversity when they are split into smaller and smaller parcels.

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Recession contributes to air pollutant emissions decrease in 2009

Emissions of almost all main air pollutants fell across the EU-27 in 2009, according to the latest annual European Union air pollutant emission inventory report compiled by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Some pollutants decreased significantly compared to the previous year, with analysis showing economic recession to be an important factor in this reduction. The drop was most evident for sulphur oxides (SOx), with emissions falling by 21 % between 2008 and 2009.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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1050 Copenhagen K
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Phone: +45 3336 7100