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What lessons does Covid-19 offer for sustainability?

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted swift and forceful actions by governments and societies around the world. A European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing reflects on these responses and the link between the pandemic and the environment to draw lessons that could be used in making societies more sustainable.

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EU ETS emissions continued to decline during the Covid-19 pandemic

Under current and planned measures, EU Member States project that ETS emissions will continue to decrease in the coming decades albeit at a slower pace than historically, according to the latest annual European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing 'Trends and projections in the EU ETS' published today. On recent trends, greenhouse gas emissions from stationary installations recorded under the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) declined by just over 11% between 2019 and 2020.

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Clear opportunities to decouple Europe’s waste generation from economic growth

In most European countries and in the EU as a whole, waste generation is growing but at a slower pace than the economy. However, there are no signs that the overall objective of reducing the total generation of waste is close to being achieved, according to a European Environment Agency report published today. The report’s findings highlight opportunities to more effectively prevent waste, with textiles in the spotlight.

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Cities play pivotal roles in Europe's sustainability transition

Most Europeans live in cities and cities are Europe’s economic, cultural, and political hubs. Cities face environmental and climate challenges but also hold keys to realise Europe’s sustainability ambitions. Two new assessments on urban sustainability, published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today, combine several environment and climate themes, calling for better integration of policies to address the complex and interlinked challenges through win-win solutions.

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Biodiversity: Three billion additional trees by 2030 – launch of MapMyTree tool

Today, the European Commission together with the European Environment Agency (EEA), are publishing a data tool — MapMyTree — for all organisations to join the pledge of planting three billion additional trees by 2030, register and map their planted trees to count the EU target. As part of the European Green Deal, the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 commits to planting at least 3 billion additional trees in the EU by 2030, in full respect of ecological principles. This would increase the EU forest area and resilience, enhance biodiversity, and help with climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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New indicator on pesticides in European waters

Pesticides can end up in rivers, lakes and groundwaters, with potential to harm aquatic ecosystems and water quality. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new indicator, which aims to track Europe’s progress in reducing pesticides in waters, shows that excessive levels of pesticides have been recorded in a considerable share of European freshwaters.

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Europe’s urban population remains at risk due to levels of air pollution known to damage health

The vast majority of Europe’s urban population is exposed to levels of air pollutants above new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, according to an updated European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis on air quality in Europe released today.

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EU remains on track to phase-down use of climate-damaging F-gases

The supply and use of climate-warming fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) rose slightly across the European Union and United Kingdom in 2020, according to the latest annual update on the EU’s progress of phasing down the use of F-gases published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

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Creating a resilient economy within environmental limits

Creating a more resilient and sustainable future will require Europe to reimagine its economic model, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. The report highlights opportunities for Europe to go further in creating an economy that can deliver prosperity and sustainability.

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Waste water treatment improves in Europe but large differences remain

Collection and treatment of waste water are key to reducing pressures and risks to human health and the environment, especially to rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published data today, on World Toilet Day, which show that the share of urban waste waters that are collected and treated in line with EU standards is increasing across Europe.

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