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)

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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.

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