Publications

Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation

The 2013 Late lessons from early warnings report is the second of its type produced by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with a broad range of external authors and peer reviewers. The case studies across both volumes of Late lessons from early warnings cover a diverse range of chemical and technological innovations, and highlight a number of systemic problems. The 'Late Lessons Project' illustrates how damaging and costly the misuse or neglect of the precautionary principle can be, using case studies and a synthesis of the lessons to be learned and applied to maximising innovations whilst minimising harms.

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Annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory 1990–2009 and inventory report 2011

This report is the annual submission of the greenhouse gas inventory of the European Union to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. It presents greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2009 for EU-27, EU-15, individual Member States and economic sector.

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Priority issues in the Mediterranean environment (revised version)

Following the principles of the European Thematic Strategy on the Protection and Conservation of the Marine Environment, the collective interest of EEA and UNEP/MAP has been developed towards a product focusing on priority pollution zones in the Mediterranean Sea and addressing emerging issues. All these issues come under the prism of an ecosystem approach. The core of this report derives from the latest (2003–2004) country National Diagnostic Analyses reports (NDA).

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Marine and coastal environment — SOER 2010 thematic assessment

European marine regions include the north-east Atlantic and Arctic oceans, and the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic seas. Human activities — such as fishing, aquaculture and agriculture — and climate change cause large and severe impacts on Europe's coastal and marine ecosystems. The EU objective of halting biodiversity loss by 2010 has not been met in either the coastal or the marine environment. Recognising the need for an integrated ecosystem-based approach to reduce pressures, the EU Integrated Maritime Policy allows for the development of sea-related activities in a sustainable manner. Its environmental pillar, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, aims to deliver 'good environmental status' of the marine environment by 2020, and the Common Fisheries Policy will be reformed in 2012 with the aim of achieving sustainable fisheries. Complementary policy efforts include the EU Water Framework Directive and other freshwater legislation, and the Habitats and Birds Directives.

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European water policies and human health — Combining reported environmental information

Society depends on the satisfactory and sustainable management of water. This report considers three pieces of EU water legislation targeted at particular sectors: the Bathing Water Directive, the Drinking Water Directive and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, and looks at common issues in the context of the Water Framework Directive. A review of the implementation of each of the sectoral directives is provided.

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Mercury in Europe's environment

This EEA report aims to increase understanding and knowledge of global mercury pollution among both policymakers and the general public. The report provides background information and context, before setting out the current status of global and European mercury pollution and the challenges that remain in addressing this global issue.

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Pharmaceuticals in the environment — Result of an EEA workshop

Pharmaceuticals in the environment — Result of an EEA workshop

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 Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation (flyer)

Science and the precautionary principle - lessons for preventing harm

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EEA Signals 2011 - Globalisation, environment and you

The European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes Signals each year, providing snapshot stories on issues of interest to the environmental policy debate and the wider public in the coming year.

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Chemicals for a sustainable future - Report of the EEA Scientific Committee Seminar

This report draws upon presentations and discussions that took place at a seminar held by the European Environment Agency's (EEA's) Scientific Committee on 17 May 2017.

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The impacts of endocrine disrupters on wildlife, people and their environments – The Weybridge+15 (1996–2011) report

Rates of endocrine diseases and disorders, such as some reproductive and developmental harm in human populations, have changed in line with the growth of the chemical industry, leading to concerns that these factors may be linked. For example, the current status of semen quality in the few European countries where studies have been systematically conducted, is very poor: fertility in approximately 40 % of men is impaired. There is also evidence of reproductive and developmental harm linked to impairments in endocrine function in a number of wildlife species, particularly in environments that are contaminated by cocktails of chemicals that are in everyday use. Based on the human and wildlife evidence, many scientists are concerned about chemical pollutants being able to interfere with the normal functioning of hormones, so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), that could play a causative role in these diseases and disorders. If this holds true, then these 'early warnings' signal a failure in environmental protection that should be addressed.

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Hazardous substances in Europe's fresh and marine waters — An overview

Chemicals are an essential part of our daily lives and are used to produce consumer goods, to protect or restore our health and to boost food production, to name but a few examples. Some chemicals, however, are hazardous, raising concerns for the environment and human health. Hazardous substances are emitted to fresh and marine waters via a number of pathways and can have detrimental effects on aquatic biota. Humans can be exposed to hazardous substances in water through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water and the consumption of contaminated freshwater fish and seafood. A wide range of legislation now exists in Europe to address the release of hazardous substances to the environment, including water. New challenges exist, however, including the issues of chemical mixtures and emerging pollutants.

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Chemicals in European waters

This report’s aim is to improve understanding of which chemicals continue to pose significant risks to the environment, especially when they are present in water. It also looks at how better knowledge and understanding can help to improve controls to minimise harm. The report gives an overview of information about pollutants used in the assessment of water quality under the Water Framework Directive, and describes some of the newer techniques available for the assessment of water quality.

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Chemicals in the European Environment: Low Doses, High Stakes?

Chemicals in the European Environment: Low Doses, High Stakes?

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Dangerous substances in waste

Dangerous substances in waste

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