Sustainability transitions: Now for the long term

This report was developed in cooperation with the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) — a partnership network of the EEA and its member and cooperating countries involving more than 1 000 experts and 350 national institutions across Europe. Drawing on evidence collected from across the network, the report represents an initial attempt to explore what the concepts of sustainability transitions and transformations mean in practice, and how the EEA and Eionet can help develop the knowledge needed to support systemic change in Europe. Case studies are used to explain and illustrate key concepts and to give a sense of what activities are already under way at local levels. The report concludes with reflections from the EEA's Scientific Committee and Executive Director, which provide further insights into the new knowledge needs and the potential role of the EEA and Eionet in responding to them.

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Municipal waste management across European countries

This briefing is a synthesis of the outcomes of a country-by-country analysis that addressed 32 EEA countries: EU-28 Member States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey (ETC/WMGE, 2016), complemented with some information from the Western Balkan countries.

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Communication, environment and behaviour

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.

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More from less — material resource efficiency in Europe

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.

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Renewable energy in Europe 2016 - Recent growth and knock-on effects

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?

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Circular economy in Europe — Developing the knowledge base

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.

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Urban sustainability issues — Resource-efficient cities: good practice

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.

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Urban sustainability issues —   What is a resource-efficient city?

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.

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Urban sustainability issues — Enabling resource-efficient cities

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.

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Waste prevention in Europe — the status in 2014

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.

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Ozone-depleting substances 2014

Aggregated data reported by companies on the import, export, production, destruction, and feedstock and process agent use of ozone-depleting substances in the European Union. This document summarises the data reported under the ODS Regulation for the year 2014, and looks at the major trends since 2006.

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Global megatrends update: 4 Accelerating technological change

In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA updated each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately. In mid-2015 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report.

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Renewable energy in Europe - Approximated recent growth and knock-on effects

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.

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Waste prevention in Europe - the status in 2013

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.

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Environmental indicator report 2014

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.

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Resource‑efficient green economy and EU policies

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.

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Why did GHG emissions decrease in the EU between 1990 and 2012?

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.

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EEA Signals 2014 – Well-being and the environment

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.

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Progress on resource efficiency and decoupling in the EU‑27

Messages emerging from environmentally extended input‑output analysis with relevance to the Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the 7EAP

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Horizon 2020 mediterranean report

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.

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