Achieving EU's key 2020 environmental objectives slipping away

According to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) updated environmental indicator report published today, the European Union continues to fall short of achieving a number of environmental objectives by 2020, especially in areas aimed at protecting biodiversity and natural capital. When it comes to 'boosting sustainable, resource-efficient, low-carbon economy', trends and outlooks cause more concern compared to the assessment from last year, while progress in addressing environment-related threats to health remains rather mixed.

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Better information needed on Europe's forests

There is a growing demand for forest products and ecosystem services but information on the changes in Europe's forests is currently limited. According to an EEA briefing, published today, high-resolution satellite images will improve knowledge about changes in structure, function and condition of forest ecosystems and the impacts of different forest management practices across Europe.

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Rising energy consumption slows EU progress on renewables and energy efficiency targets

Progress on increasing the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency is slowing across the European Union, putting at risk the EU’s ability to achieve its energy and emissions reduction targets. Rising energy consumption, particularly in the transport sector, is to blame for the slowdown, according to preliminary data released today in the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) annual analysis on the EU’s progress towards its targets on renewables and energy efficiency.

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EEA report confirms: electric cars are better for climate and air quality

Battery electric cars emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their entire life cycle than petrol and diesel cars, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today. Promoting renewable energy and circular economy — including the shared use of vehicles and product design that supports reuse and recycling — will help maximise the benefits of shifting to electric vehicles.

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Increase in EU greenhouse gas emissions hampers progress towards 2030 targets

Greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union rose slightly in 2017, mostly because of the transport sector. Preliminary estimates published today in the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) annual ‘trends and projections’ assessments show a 0.6% emissions increase in 2017 from 2016. This limited increase means that the EU is still expected to achieve its 2020 emissions reduction target, albeit by a narrower margin. However, national measures will need to be urgently stepped up to achieve the EU’s new reduction targets for 2030.

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Europe continues to phase out substances harmful to the ozone layer under the Montreal Protocol

Overall efforts to reduce the use of chemicals harming the ozone layer across the European Union continued in 2017 and the EU has already achieved its goals on the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol, according to the latest data released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Countries give only limited information on the results of their policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Most national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Europe target energy consumption and energy supply, while economic and regulatory instruments are the most common means of cutting emissions, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today. The report also reveals that EU Member States report the actual effects and costs for only a small number of their policies and measures.

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Small cut in EU's total greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 but transport emissions keep increasing

Total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union (EU) decreased by 0.4 % in 2016, according to latest official data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Using less coal to produce heat and electricity was enough to make a slight cut in total emissions despite an increase in transport emissions for the third consecutive year.

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New vans sold in Europe in 2017: large decrease in annual average CO2 emissions

Average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of new vans registered in the European Union (EU) in 2017 were 4.7% lower than in 2016, according to preliminary data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). This is the highest annual reduction reported since the regulation to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles came into force in 2011.

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No improvements on average CO2 emissions from new cars in 2017

Efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the European Union (EU) stalled in 2017 compared to 2016, according to provisional data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). While past years have seen steady declines, new passenger cars registered in 2017 emitted on average 0.4 grammes (g) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre more than in 2016.

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Tax breaks and incentives make Europeans buy cleaner cars

Emissions of carbon dioxide from new passenger cars have dropped in a number of European countries where a range of taxes, subsidies and other incentives are used to encourage consumers to purchase lower-carbon-dioxide (CO2) emitting vehicles. The number of countries offering incentives for electric vehicles in particular, continues to grow, according to European Environment Agency (EEA) data published today. At the same time, emissions from trucks and buses are expected to increase further if new measures are not taken.

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Europe’s transport sector: Aviation and shipping face big challenges in reducing environmental impacts

A massive shift in innovation, consumer behaviour and the take up of more ambitious green technologies to power aircraft and sea-faring cargo ships will be crucial to reducing their long-term carbon footprint. A European Environment Agency (EEA) report says incremental measures such as improving fuel efficiency to cut emissions will not be enough for the aviation and shipping sectors to meet European greenhouse gas emissions and sustainability targets.

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Renewables accounted for vast majority of new EU power capacity in 2016

Transition to renewable energy continues in the European Union (EU) but has lost some pace in the past two years. According to new European Environment Agency (EEA) estimates, renewables accounted for 86 % of the EU’s new capacity for electricity generation installed in 2016. Overall, EU Member States also continue to cut more capacity from conventional sources than they install.

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EU fluorinated gases phase-down remains on track

European Union efforts to phase-down the production and import of fluorinated greenhouse-gases (F-gases) made good progress in 2016, according to the latest annual update published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

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EU still on track to meet targets on renewables and energy efficiency but progress slowing down

The European Union (EU) and most of its Member States are on track to reach their 2020 targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency. However, recent increases in energy consumption are slowing down progress, according to a new analysis by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The EEA analysis calls for Member States to keep energy consumption in check, particularly in times of economic growth, and to accelerate the decarbonisation of the EU energy system.

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Greenhouse gas emissions across EU drop slightly in 2016

Greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union decreased modestly in 2016, according to estimates published in the latest climate ‘trends and projections’ assessments released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The estimates confirm that the EU remains on track to meet its emission reduction target set for 2020, but more work is needed to meet longer-term goals.

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Preparing Europe for climate change: coordination is key to reduce risks posed by extreme weather

Building stronger links between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction experts is more important than ever in wake of recent devastating and extreme weather events across Europe and elsewhere. Closer cooperation, including better policy alignment, will be crucial to reduce the impacts of weather- and climate-related hazards like floods, heatwaves, forest fires, or storm surges. Increasing coherence in actions and using innovative methods can improve the handling of these events, according to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) published today.

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EU companies cut further the use of chemicals harmful to ozone layer

Imports, exports and the overall consumption of chemicals harming the ozone layer decreased in the European Union in 2016, according to latest annual report on ozone-depleting substances, published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). It shows a continuous trend in the phasing out of such chemicals over the last decade.

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Coal-fired power plants remain top industrial polluters in Europe

Coal-fired power plants across Europe are responsible for the largest amounts of key pollutants released into the air, according to a briefing and updated industrial pollution data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

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EU greenhouse gas emissions from transport increase for the second year in a row

Total European Union greenhouse gas emissions increased by 0.5 % in 2015, according to new European Environment Agency (EEA) data published today. Transport was a key reason for that increase: better fuel efficiency in that sector was not enough to counter the effects of an increasing demand for transport.

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