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Europe is not on track to halve non-recycled municipal waste by 2030

The European Union (EU) circular economy action plan aims to halve the amount of municipal waste in the EU that is not recycled by 2030. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, achieving this target requires both reducing waste generation and considerably increasing recycling, possibly even beyond the binding recycling target of 60%. A second EEA briefing reviews municipal waste management in the Western Balkan countries.

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Vast majority of Europe’s urban population remains exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution

Ninety-six percent of Europe’s urban population was exposed to fine particulate matter above the health-based guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the latest annual European Environment Agency (EEA) air quality assessment published today.

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New European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change appointed

The members of the new European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change have been designated today, making the new independent advisory body ready to provide the European Union (EU) with scientific knowledge, expertise and advice relating to climate change. The Advisory Board’s work will underpin the EU’s climate action and efforts to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

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World Water Day: attention on Europe’s groundwater

Most of Europe’s drinking water and a significant proportion of water used in irrigation come from groundwater. A European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today on World Water Day, provides a European overview of this key resource that is under increasing pressure from pollution, abstraction and climate change.

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A better understanding of links between natural resources can help the EU’s sustainability drive

Addressing the links between natural resources like food, energy, water, land, materials and ecosystems services is key to supporting Europe’s ambitions in shifting to a sustainable future, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.

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Emissions from road traffic and domestic heating behind breaches of EU air quality standards across Europe

Breaches of EU air quality limits for nitrogen dioxide across Europe were predominantly due to road traffic, while domestic heating lay behind the majority of exceedances for particulate matter, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment on air quality plans published today.

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Circular business models and smarter design can reduce environment and climate impacts from textiles

Textile consumption in Europe has on average the fourth highest impacts on the environment and climate, following consumption of food, housing and mobility. Ahead of the expected European Union (EU) strategy for sustainable and circular textiles, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published today two briefings that look at measures to reduce those impacts, including on resource use, greenhouse gas emissions and microplastic pollution.

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Europe's environmental taxes in decline, despite potentially crucial role

The European Green Deal acknowledges the crucial role of taxation in Europe’s sustainability transition. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, shows that revenues from environmental taxes can support transition investments but future revenue streams from these taxes will erode as European Union (EU) environmental and climate policy objectives are achieved. The relative share of environmental taxes to total tax revenues has also declined in the past two decades.

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Economic losses from weather and climate-related extremes in Europe reached around half a trillion euros over past 40 years

Extreme weather events like storms, heatwaves and flooding accounted for economic losses of around half a trillion euros over the past 40 years and led to between 85 000 and 145 000 human fatalities across Europe. Less than one-third of these losses were insured, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis of economic losses and fatalities from weather and climate-related events, published today.

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How green are European cities? Green space key to well-being – but access varies

High-quality green and blue spaces in cities, like parks, allotments, riverbanks and coastlines, are crucial for health and well-being, in particular for the elderly, children and people on low incomes. However, a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, shows that access is not equal.

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