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Ageing population, emerging technologies and fiscal sustainability can influence EU’s path to sustainable future

Environmental policies must be better integrated across all government work if Europe is to stay on target toward a sustainable, carbon-neutral future. This will be crucial amid the profound changes which are expected to happen as a result of an ageing European population, a widespread technological change, and the competing allocations of public budgets. Tackling these complex challenges with sustainability in mind will require clear, bold, long-term and future-proof policies, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today.

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Quality of Europe’s bathing waters remains high, latest annual assessment finds

The quality of Europe’s bathing water remains high, according to this year’s European bathing water quality assessment published today. Just under 85 % of swimming sites across Europe monitored in 2019 met the European Union’s highest and most stringent ‘excellent’ quality standards.

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Air pollution goes down as Europe takes hard measures to combat coronavirus

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) data confirm large decreases in air pollutant concentrations — of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in particular — largely due to reduced traffic and other activities, especially in major cities under lockdown measures. Reductions of around half have been seen in some locations. The EEA’s data are measured hourly, on the ground, at about 3,000 monitoring stations across European countries.

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Number of Europeans exposed to harmful noise pollution expected to increase

At least one in five Europeans are currently exposed to noise levels considered harmful to their health, according to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) environmental noise pollution report published today. This number is projected to increase in the years ahead.

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Walking, cycling and public transport in cities remain greener mobility options than electric scooters or car ride-hailing

The growing use of electric scooters and ride-hailing services is transforming how we move in urban centres — but walking, cycling and public transport remain the best way to improve sustainable mobility in cities, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. A separate EEA briefing on the environmental and climate impacts of transport finds that emissions of greenhouse gases from transport continue to increase, as demand for mobility across Europe keeps growing.

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PFAS pollution is widespread in Europe but risks are still poorly understood

People and the environment are exposed to a wide variety of extremely persistent chemicals known as PFAS, many of which are known to be toxic. A briefing by the European Environment Agency, published today, presents an overview of these chemicals, which continue to accumulate in people and the environment.

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Europe’s state of the environment 2020: change of direction urgently needed to face climate change challenges, reverse degradation and ensure future prosperity

Europe will not achieve its 2030 goals without urgent action during the next 10 years to address the alarming rate of biodiversity loss, increasing impacts of climate change and the overconsumption of natural resources. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) latest ‘State of the Environment’ report published today states that Europe faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency. The report says, however, there is reason for hope, amid increased public awareness of the need to shift to a sustainable future, technological innovations, growing community initiatives and stepped up EU action like the European Green Deal.

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Cutting air pollution in Europe would prevent early deaths, improve productivity and curb climate change

Europe’s air is getting cleaner but persistent pollution, especially in cities, still damages people’s health and the economy. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new analysis on air quality shows that exposure to air pollution caused about 400,000 premature deaths in the European Union (EU) in 2016.

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New challenges facing Europe’s waste water treatment plants present opportunities for improving sustainability

More investment is needed to make urban waste water treatment plants fit to meet the difficult challenges posed by the impacts of climate change, as well as the presence of antibiotics and other micro-pollutants in waste water, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.

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New initiative to measure outdoor air quality at schools across Europe

Air pollution is a growing concern in Europe and globally. CleanAir@School initiative is putting focus on air quality around Europe’s schools by involving children, parents and teachers in measuring pollutant concentrations. The project is a joint initiative of the European Environment Agency and the European Network of the Heads of Environmental Protection Agencies.

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Challenges for achieving clean air — lessons from ten cities across Europe

Implementing EU air quality legislation to protect human health and the environment from pollution can be demanding for countries and cities. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has worked together with a number of European cities to better understand policy implementation challenges. The EEA’s new report, published today, summarises key findings on the cities’ progress over the past five years and highlights on-going challenges for improving air quality at the local level.

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More action needed to protect Europe’s most vulnerable citizens from air pollution, noise and extreme temperatures

Targeted action is needed to better protect the poor, the elderly and children from environmental hazards like air and noise pollution and extreme temperatures, especially in Europe’s eastern and southern regions. A European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today warns that the health of Europe’s most vulnerable citizens remains disproportionately affected by these hazards, despite overall improvements in Europe’s environmental quality.

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Air pollution still too high across Europe

Despite slow improvements, air pollution continues to exceed European Union and World Health Organization limits and guidelines, according to updated data and information published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Air pollution still poses a danger to human health and the environment.

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Mercury pollution remains a problem in Europe and globally

Historical and current emissions of mercury continue to present a significant risk to the environment and human health, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today. The main source of new mercury emissions in Europe is coal burning but about half of the mercury deposited in Europe’s environment originates from outside Europe.

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Good news for holiday makers: excellent water quality at vast majority of European bathing sites

Despite a slight drop in results, 85% of swimming sites across Europe monitored in 2017 met the European Union's highest and most stringent 'excellent' quality standards for waters mostly free from pollutants, according to the latest annual European bathing water quality report published today. The results give a good indication where holiday makers can find the best quality bathing waters this summer.

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Bringing Europe's Natura 2000 sites to your pocket

Are there nature sites of European importance near you? Are cranes breeding there? What types of habitats and other species can you find at these sites? Check this and other key information on the EU's Natura 2000 network with the updated Natura 2000 viewer.

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Achieving a sustainable, low-carbon future will be a huge challenge for European society

Shifting to an environmentally sustainable society will bring huge challenges for Europe, involving fundamental changes in how it meets its demand for necessities such as food, energy, transport and housing. Diverse academic and policy communities are confronting these challenges, according to a European Environment Agency report published today, which brings together insights from different perspectives as to how such a complex transition could be achieved.

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TERM 2017: mixed progress for Europe’s transport sector in meeting environment, climate goals

Europe’s transport sector is making only mixed progress in meeting its environment, health and climate policy targets, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today, which tracks the short and long-term environmental performance of this key economic sector across the European Union.

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European Air Quality Index: current air quality information at your finger tips

A new European Air Quality Index, launched today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission, allows users to check the current air quality across Europe’s cities and regions. The Index is accompanied by new country fact sheets that provide updated air quality information for EEA member countries.

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Photo competition winners: European landscapes, flora and fauna

Mountain views, cows, ladybird and a hungry squirrel sweep top prizes in NATURE@work photo competition. European Environment Agency’s (EEA) competition encouraged citizens to take and share photos of benefits and services provided by nature.

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