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A scoping study on the links between public communication, environment policy implementation and behavioural science. In its Multiannual Work Programme 2014-2018, the EEA highlights the need for a transition towards a more sustainable society, fully aligned with the European Union’s 7th Environment Action Programme. This study explores - and aims to develop - the role of public communication to improve the implementation of environmental legislation and to contribute to this debate by bringing communications, environment and behaviour closer. It draws from other EEA work, in particular on consumption and policy evaluation where relevant.
This report presents an overview of approaches to material resource efficiency and to circular economy in thirty two European countries. It explores similarities and differences in national policy responses, with respect to policy objectives, priority resources and sectors, driving forces, targets and indicators, and the institutional setup. The report also reviews the EU policy framework for resource efficiency and analyses trends in material use and resource productivity between 2000 and 2014. Finally, it includes a number of considerations for the development of future policies on material resource efficiency and the circular economy. The analysis is richly illustrated with some sixty examples of countries’ policy initiatives, described in more detail in the 32 country profiles published alongside the main report.
This report complements the findings shown in the "Trends and Projections in Europe 2015 - Tracking progress towards Europe's climate and energy targets" report with details about the 2013 renewable energy sources (RES) progress at EU and at country level, and for key RES technologies. Furthermore, it provides approximated estimates for RES development in 2014 and seeks to answer the following key questions: Which fossil energy sources were substituted by the growth of RES consumption since 2005 and what would have been their GHG emissions? How do European RES developments compare against renewable energy transformations occurring in other parts of the world?
The report describes the concept of the circular economy and outlines its key characteristics. It draws attention to both the benefits and challenges in transitioning to such an economy and highlights possible ways to measure progress.
Cities are key players in minimising the use of resources and in developing the circular model. Generally, municipalities provide utilities and control public services for citizens and businesses that influence the majority of resource and energy use and the production of emissions and waste. Local authorities have the capacity to implement responses at multiple scales. This report analyses both the supply and the demand issues. It is divided into two parts: the first is devoted to how to avoid, prevent and reduce the use of resources; the second addresses reuse, recycling and harvesting.
The report introduces the concept of urban metabolism, the circular model and the role of compactness in urban resource efficiency. Cities require natural resources and energy to sustain the activities and daily life of the urban population. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to minimise the use of resources needed to sustain urban life and to reduce waste and emissions. As the urban form shapes the way people live, work and move, compact cities offer great potential to reduce the dependence on natural resources and energy. Urban planning, based on a vision of the future and developed with local stakeholders and crossing administrative borders, is a key factor in increasing the density of urban areas.
Shifting to a resource-efficient society is not just a question of technological change but a systemic one. It is a process that assumes fundamental changes in the governance, economy, social structure, culture and practices of the societal system. This report analyses challenges and opportunities for enabling resource-efficient cities.
The report ‘Waste prevention in Europe – the status in 2014’ is the second in a series of annual reviews of waste prevention programmes in Europe as stipulated by the Waste Framework Directive. EU Member States are obliged to adopt waste prevention programmes, while EEA is invited to carry out review on their completion and implementation. Therefore, this report presents cross-programme comparison, including scope, objectives, targets, indicators, monitoring systems and measures, and policy instruments. The analysis is completed by presenting collection of examples of good practice for 27 analysed programmes.
The 2015 report introduces several methods the European Environment Agency (EEA) has developed for assessing and communicating early RES growth and the important knock-on effects that RES growth has on the energy sector and related areas. The report provides specific information at EU and country level on estimated RES progress in 2013, estimated gross avoided carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and avoided fossil fuel use due to the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, as well as an assessment of the statistical impacts of growing RES use on primary energy consumption.
The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) sets a legal obligation for European Union (EU) Member States to adopt waste prevention programmes by 12 December 2013. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has been asked to review the progress of the 'completion and implementation of the programmes' annually. This report presents a first review of waste prevention programmes across Europe.
Environmental impacts of production-consumption systems in Europe. This report provides another perspective on the green economy transition, addressing the global value chains that meet European demand for goods and services. In doing so, it goes beyond previous reports and analyses to address the global dimension of Europe's economic activities. This perspective is highly relevant because European production and consumption systems rely heavily on imported resources and goods.
This report highlights the major forces fostering the shift to a resource-efficient green economy in Europe, including the role of EU policies. Currently, the economic and technological changes leading towards green economy objectives across the EU economy are proceeding too slowly; what is required is a much bigger, deeper, and more permanent change in the EU economy and society to create both new opportunities and substitution processes across the economic structure. To bring this about, it is important to study and understand enabling factors and mechanisms at the crossroads of policies and real economy dynamics that could accelerate and direct the transformation.
This paper briefly analyses the major factors that accounted for decreased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions excluding land use, land use changes and forestry (LULUCF) in the EU-28 between 1990 and 2012. The paper commences with an overview of EU trends, followed by summaries of the contributions of individual Member States, greenhouse gas types, and main sectors.
Building a resource-efficient and circular economy in Europe: We are extracting and using more resources than our planet can produce in a given time. Current consumption and production levels are not sustainable and risk weakening our planet’s ability to provide for us. We need to reshape our production and consumption systems to enable us to produce the same amount of output with less resource, to re‑use, recover and recycle more, and to reduce the amount of waste we generate.
Messages emerging from environmentally extended input‑output analysis with relevance to the Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the 7EAP
The H2020 Mediterranean Report is a joint effort of the EEA and UNEP/MAP resulting from the creation of a regular review mechanism of environmental progress in the three H2020 policy priorities. These are municipal waste, urban waste water and industrial pollution. The report also serves as a contribution to the mid-term review of the H2020 initiative.
The objective of this report is to propose a feasible and replicable methodology for use by different entities and at varying scales, when identifying Green Infrastructure (GI) elements. The proposed methodology will help those policymakers and practitioners define a landscape GI network to identify areas where key habitats can be reconnected and the overall ecological quality of the area improved.
Natural resources and human well-being in a green economy. This report extends the analysis of the green economy, focusing on the environmental pressures associated with resource use patterns and their impact on human health and well-being. Mapping the diverse connections between environmental change and human health impacts involves considerable conceptual complexities, and relies on a relatively fragmented evidence base.
The main objective of this study is to provide practical knowledge on the current status of the implementation of key principles of Article 9 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), and in particular on the cost‑recovery principle.
The 'green economy' has emerged as a priority in policy debate in recent years. But what does the concept mean in practice and how can decision-makers measure progress towards this strategic goal? This report provides some answers, presenting a detailed overview of the key objectives and targets in EU environmental policy and legislation for the period 2010 2050. It focuses on selected environmental and resource policy areas, specifically: energy; greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ozone-depleting substances; air quality and air pollution; transport sector emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants; waste; water; sustainable consumption and production (SCP); chemicals; biodiversity and land use.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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