EEA indicators

Page Last modified 13 Dec 2017
7 min read

EEA indicators are designed to answer key policy questions and support all phases of environmental policy making, from designing policy frameworks to setting targets, and from policy monitoring and evaluation to communicating to policy-makers and the public. The indicators are classified as follows:  

- Descriptive indicators (Type A) responding to the question: What’s happening?

- Performance indicators (Type B): Does it matter? Are we reaching targets?

- Efficiency indicators (Type C): Are we improving?

- Policy effectiveness indicators (Type D): Are the measures working?

- Total welfare indicators (Type E): Are we, on the whole, better off?

The Digest of EEA indicators 2014 provides a comprehensive guide to EEA indicators.

The EEA currently maintains 122 indicators (https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/#c0=10&c12-operator=or&b_start=0 ), covering 13 environmental topics (Air pollution, Biodiversity – Ecosystems, Climate change adaptation, Climate change mitigation, Energy, Environment and health, Industry, Land use, Resource efficiency and waste, Soil, Sustainability transitions, Transport, Water and marine environment).

The EEA indicators are also organized by set. The sets currently in use are the following: APE (Air pollutant emissions), CLIM (Climate state and impact indicators), ENER (Energy indicators), INDP (Industrial pollution indicators), LSI (Land and soil indicators), MAR (Marine indicators), Outlook indicators, SCP (Sustainable consumption and production), SEBI (Streamlining European biodiversity indicators), TERM (Transport and environment reporting mechanism), WAT (Water indicators), WREI (Water resource efficiency indicators), and WST (Waste indicators). 

By drawing from the different sets, a Core Set of Indicators (CSI) is regularly identified, aimed at prioritizing improvements in the quality and coverage of data flows, streamlining contributions to other international indicator initiatives, and providing a manageable and stable basis for indicator-based assessments of progress against environmental policy priorities. Many of the core set indicators are used in other international indicator processes implemented elsewhere, notably at the European Commission, OECD, WHO and UNECE. The set is often used as a model for indicator sets at country level. 

The EEA indicators are also published in the Environmental Indicator Catalogue maintained by Eurostat (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/environment/environmental-indicator-catalogue).

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