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Europe's sustainability agenda needs knowledge for action and more concrete targets to achieve its ambitions

The European Green Deal has set unprecedented sustainability ambitions for the European Union (EU) and calls for transformational change across society. To realise such far-reaching changes, Europe needs knowledge for action. This means better uptake and use of existing knowledge, new types of knowledge, new ways of creating knowledge, and, in some policy areas, better data and more concrete targets, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today.

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Europe’s nature under pressure — challenges and solutions

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) work and other assessments have shown that European ecosystems are under serious threat. Centuries of exploitation have left their mark on Europe’s natural world and most protected habitats and species are not in good conservation status. The EEA Signals 2021, published today, presents an overview of the problems Europe’s nature is facing and points to strategies to reverse the situation.

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Industrial air pollution in Europe costs society €277 - €433 billion

Emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from large industrial sites in Europe cost society between €277 and €433 billion, in 2017, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis, published today. About half of the annual cost is caused by just 211 facilities, around 2 % of the largest industrial sites in Europe. The European Green Deal and the Zero pollution action plan are opportunities to improve the situation.

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Pollution and barriers are key problems for Europe’s waters

European water bodies suffer from agricultural pollution as well as pollution from insufficiently treated waste water from cities, industry and scattered dwellings, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today. Artificial barriers, together with navigation, abstraction, aquaculture, and invasive alien species cause additional pressures. However, solutions to tackle the problems exist and should be more widely adopted.

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Air pollution still too high in most EU Member States

Concentrations of key air pollutants remain too high in most European countries. According to the European Environment Agency’s official data, published today, most European Union (EU) Member States exceed at least one or more of the EU’s legal limits for pollutants in ambient air in 2019.

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