All official European Union website addresses are in the europa.eu domain.See all EU institutions and bodies
Climate change affects us all and is accelerating. Its impacts will become even more severe if the increase in global temperature is not kept below 1.5°C. The EU and its Member States are taking important steps to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
EU's climate targets at a glance
Source: EEA Signals 2022 — State of play
It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.
Report, “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis”
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Climate and nature: two sides of the same coin
The stakes have never been higher. Our planet is warming and losing species at an alarming rate. Two global conferences at the end of 2022 brought people from across the world around a common topic — climate and biodiversity.
The challenges in both areas are symptoms of the same problem: our unsustainable production and consumption. Despite the complexity of the negotiations, these conferences are crucial for global awareness, consensus and urgent action.
Our climate is changing. Find out what Europe is doing to adapt.
What causes climate change?
By burning fossil fuels, producing goods, cutting down forests, and farming livestock, Earth’s average temperatures are heating up. These activities release massive amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, which increases the greenhouse effect and causes global warming. There are four main types of greenhouse gases created by human activity:
- Carbon dioxide, stemming mainly from transport, coal, oil, deforestation and natural gas burned to generate heat and electricity;
- Methane primarily from livestock waste management and fugitives from coal, oil and gas operations;
- Nitrous oxide from fertiliser use;
- Fluorinated gases from manufacturing and industry.
Other topics you might be interested in:
- Agriculture and food system
- Buildings and construction
- Climate change impacts, risks and adaptation
- Climate change mitigation: reducing emissions
- Electric vehicles
- Energy efficiency
- Extreme weather: floods, droughts, heatwaves
- Forests and forestry
- Land use
- Renewable energy
- Road transport
- Sustainable finance
- Transport and mobility