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The EEA issues press releases on key assessments and institutional developments. They are then disseminated to our subscribers and shared with journalists and the wider public. You can filter our press releases by topic through the search function. See below for our latest press releases:
Keeping Europe’s forests healthy will require long-term sustainable practices, action on climate change
The health of Europe’s forests and linked ecosystems are facing an increasing number of challenges, including deforestation due to urban development, pollution and impacts of climate change, all of which threaten forest resilience. Maintaining and ensuring their long-term health will require more sustainable management practices and proactive efforts to address the impacts of climate change according to two European Environment Agency (EEA) briefings published today, on 21 March – International Day of Forests.
Does sustainability require seeing ourselves as part of nature?
Can the way we see ourselves in relation to the natural world create a greater sense of responsibility and stewardship towards nature? Global awareness about the degradation of nature, climate change and unsustainable resource use is increasing and our responses to these challenges need to accelerate. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, discusses the way we see ourselves in relation to nature, how that can affect the actions we take towards sustainability, and how a new mindset could create a greater sense of responsibility.
Key actions for safer and more sustainable chemicals
Global chemical production is growing rapidly, supporting the green and digital transitions but also creating risks for health and ecosystems. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, key policy measures foreseen in the European Commission’s chemicals strategy for sustainability offer significant potential to ensure consumer safety, cut pollution and clean up material flows.
Improvements needed in assessing costs, benefits of climate change adaptation
A better understanding of the costs and benefits of adaptation measures to counter climate change is needed according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing which assesses the main methods, challenges and constraints in taking action.
Europe's used textiles are an increasing waste and export problem
Discarded textiles in Europe, including used clothing and footwear, are an increasing waste and export problem. Rapidly increasing EU exports of used textiles — some of which is reused and some of which ends up in landfills — show that Europe faces a challenge in how to handle its own used textiles, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.
Renovations and urgent phase-out of fossil fuels needed to decarbonise heating in Europe
About half of the EU’s final energy consumption goes to heating, making it a key focus area in Europe’s efforts to improve energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, analyses this energy segment, urging investment in building renovations and modern renewable energy solutions.
Scaling up good practices can boost sustainability of plastics
Plastics have many useful applications, but the global production and consumption trends of these materials are currently unsustainable. Circular and sustainability practices throughout the lifecycle of plastics can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and waste. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis, published today, many such good practice examples already exist and would need to be scaled up to enable a circular plastics economy in Europe.
Markets for many commonly recycled materials struggle in the EU
Europe’s ambitions for a circular economy require the timely provision of good-quality recycled raw materials to manufacturers. However, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today, from the eight most common recyclables, only aluminium, paper and glass have well-functioning secondary markets. Lack of standardisation and competition with new materials are among the challenges for other markets, such as wood and textiles.
More efforts needed to address land sources of marine litter
Amid a rise in plastic waste, more must be done across Europe to tackle the root causes of marine litter at its source to prevent the waste from polluting in-land rivers and making its way to our coastlines and seas, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) web report published today.
Monitoring soil threats in Europe
Soil is a vital component of natural capital, hosting rich biodiversity and providing critical ecosystem services, such as food production, water purification and carbon storage. However, European soils are under increasing pressure and comprehensive monitoring to asses soil health is lacking. Published today, a European Environment Agency (EEA) report presents a core set of soil indicators and critical limits for soil health.
EU Member States make progress in climate adaptation to boost resilience, EEA review finds
EU Member States recognise the importance of adapting to impacts of heatwaves, droughts, floods, heavy precipitation and changing temperatures and of mainstreaming climate change adaptation to a wide range of affected areas like agriculture, or water and disaster risk management. These are key findings of a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today which assesses the state of national adaptation actions in 2021.
Most plastic consumption in Europe lacks direct policy targets and data
Plastics are used across Europe in everything from construction materials to consumer products. Recent policy actions on plastic packaging at EU and national level have established collection schemes and introduced waste prevention measures. However, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, a significant fraction of Europe’s total plastic consumption is outside this policy focus and at risk of being overlooked in Europe’s transformation towards a more circular economy.
Zero pollution: 2030 targets within reach but need stronger action
Today, the European Commission is publishing its first Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook report setting pathways to cleaner air, water and soil. The Commission report, together with the European Environment Agency's monitoring assessment, shows that EU policies have contributed to reducing air pollution as well as pollution from pesticides. However, in other areas such as harmful noise, nutrient pollution or municipal waste generation, problems persist. The results show that overall much stronger action is necessary if the EU is to achieve 2030 zero pollution targets, by adopting new anti-pollution laws and better implementing existing ones.
Effective nature finance needs better data, analysis and tools
Alarming degradation of biodiversity has prompted initiatives for financial investments in nature both globally and in Europe. Besides strengthening biodiversity, such investments can have other important benefits, such as supporting climate action, food security, and improving quality of life in cities. European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new briefing highlights that better data, impact analysis and coordination mechanisms are needed to make nature financing effective.
Methane emissions on a downward trend, but accelerated cuts needed to meet EU climate targets
While emissions of methane across the European Union have decreased over past years, the overall reduction in emissions needs to accelerate to meet 2030 and 2050 EU climate objectives. Increased global efforts to reduce methane emissions would also be needed to mitigate global warming in the short term, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing on trends and drivers of methane emissions published today.
Moving towards sustainability in times of multiple crises and uncertainty
The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) assessments have shown that Europe and world face unprecedented environment and climate challenges that require ambitious policy responses, such as the European Green Deal. Published today, EEA Signals 2022 looks at Europe’s commitments for sustainability and energy system from the perspective multiple, interconnected crises.
Premature deaths due to air pollution continue to fall in the EU, more efforts needed to deliver a toxic-free environment
Europe’s air quality keeps improving and the number of people dying early or suffering illness due to air pollution is in decline. However, according to European Environment Agency’s (EEA) analysis, published today, air pollution is still the largest environmental health risk in Europe, and more ambitious measures are needed to meet the health-based guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Winners of EEA 2022 Well with Nature photo competition announced
A moody shot of a windswept lighthouse in an approaching storm on the Dutch coast, which won the Public Choice Award, headlines this year’s winners of the EEA’s ‘Well with Nature’ photo competition announced today. The 2022 competition was the EEA’s largest ever, drawing a record 5236 entries from across Europe.
Europe's heatwaves: How to keep buildings cool sustainably?
Europe’s temperatures are rising more than twice as fast as the global average with more and more extreme heatwaves being recorded. The demand for sustainable cooling in buildings is increasing and, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, there is a need for buildings that are energy efficient, use passive cooling solutions and can protect people from heatwaves and contribute to human health and well-being.
Heatwaves, spread of infectious diseases due to climate change growing health threats to Europeans
Unprecedented heatwaves — as seen this year — are the greatest direct climate-related health threat to Europe’s population. Heatwaves already account for numerous deaths and illnesses. This burden is set to increase without more climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Heat-health action plans, urban greening, better building design and adjusting working times can contribute to better protect the most vulnerable groups in society, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today.
Cities can offer new opportunities for prosumers of renewable energy
Europe’s urban centres offer opportunities for citizens to produce renewable energy as prosumers according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today. Cities can play a key role in Europe’s shift to a low-carbon future. Facilitating urban prosumption can help accelerate this process.
Trends and projections: limited rebound in EU emissions amid post-pandemic recovery and energy crisis
Greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption rose in 2021 due mostly to Europe’s post-pandemic recovery, according to the latest ‘Trends and Projections’ report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Most EU Member States successfully achieved the EU’s 2020 climate and energy targets and are now turning their sights toward climate neutrality while also addressing the current energy supply crisis. Achieving the more ambitious 2030 climate and energy targets will demand more than a doubling of annual progress in the roll-out of renewables, the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.