Environmental noise in Europe — 2020

The report presents an updated assessment of the population exposed to high levels of environmental noise and the associated health impacts in Europe, based on the new World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. The report also documents actions being taken to manage and reduce noise exposure and reviews the progress made towards meeting policy objectives. The evaluation of the status of exposure to environmental noise in Europe is based on the latest data collected under the Environmental Noise Directive (END). The report also describes other relevant issues, such as inequalities in exposure to environmental noise as well as impacts on wildlife.

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Emerging chemical risks in Europe — ‘PFAS’

It is currently not possible to perform in-depth environmental and health risk assessments of all chemical substances in use in Europe because of the great variety of chemicals and their diverse uses. New and legacy chemicals continue to be released into Europe’s environment, adding to the total chemical burden on Europe’s citizens and ecosystems. Early identification of emerging risks is one of the activities of the European Environment Agency (EEA). This briefing summarises the known and potential risks to human health and the environment in Europe posed by a group of very persistent chemicals, the per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).

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Air quality in Europe 2019

This report presents an updated overview and analysis of air quality in Europe from 2000 to 2017. It reviews the progress made towards meeting the air quality standards established in the two EU Ambient Air Quality Directives and towards the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines (AQGs). It also presents the latest findings and estimates of population and ecosystem exposure to the air pollutants with the greatest impacts.

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Urban waste water treatment for 21st century challenges

It is easy to take water for granted. Clean water comes out of a tap, we use the water and then ‘dirty’ water disappears down the drain. In this way, the water that leaves our homes, schools and workplaces is contaminated. For most European citizens, such waste water is collected, transported and then treated at an urban waste water treatment plant, to remove components harmful to the environment and human health, before the water is returned to nature (EEA, 2018). The importance of access to clean water and sanitation is embedded in Goal 6 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN, n.d). Supplying clean water and collecting waste water has required huge investment across Europe in recent decades. In this briefing, we show that challenges to securing sustainable water in future, such as climate change, present new opportunities for resource efficiency and improved environmental protection.

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European Union emissions inventory report 2017

This document is the annual European Union (EU) emission inventory report under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long‑range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention) (UNECE, 1979).

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Europes urban air quality - re-assessing implementation challenges in cities

This report analyses the implementation of EU air quality legislation at the urban level and identifies some of the reasons behind persistent air quality problems in Europe's cities. It is produced in cooperation with 10 cities involved in a 2013 Air Implementation Pilot project: Antwerp (Belgium), Berlin (Germany), Dublin (Ireland), Madrid (Spain), Malmö (Sweden), Milan (Italy), Paris (France), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Prague (Czechia) and Vienna (Austria).

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Unequal exposure and unequal impacts

Unequal exposure and unequal impacts: social vulnerability to air pollution, noise and extreme temperatures in Europe

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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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Assessing the risks to health from air pollution

The European Environment Agency (EEA) produces annual air pollution health risk assessments at the European level. These give an objective and comparable estimate of the impacts of air pollution on the population’s health. This briefing provides an overview of the methodology followed in the assessments.

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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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Environmental indicator report 2017 — In support to the monitoring of the 7th Environment Action Programme

This report gives an overview of the EU’s progress towards 29 environmental policy objectives. These are relevant to the achievement of the 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) three key priority objectives: natural capital; resource-efficient, low-carbon economy; and people’s health and well-being.

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Managing exposure to noise in Europe

Noise pollution poses a high risk to human health. This briefing presents updated estimates of the numbers of people exposed to environmental noise pollution in Europe. It also provides a new summary of the measures being used in Member States to manage noise. Road traffic remains by far the most important source of environmental noise: at least 100 million people are exposed to levels of traffic noise that exceed the European Union’s indicator of noise annoyance.

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Financing urban adaptation to climate change

This report shows that, although cities and municipalities across Europe increasingly acknowledge the need to adapt to climate change, meeting the costs of measures for adaptation remains very often a major challenge. Nevertheless, the report presents examples of several cities and municipalities that have found innovative ways of financing adaptation and implementing measures. These range from classic funds to more innovative financing mechanisms, including crowdfunding and green bonds. These solutions could be relevant for other cities, towns and smaller municipalities, and the examples are meant as an inspiration to learn from.

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Environmental indicator report 2016 — In support to the monitoring of the 7th Environment Action Programme

This report examines if the EU and its immediate neighbours are on target to achieving by 2020 the three thematic priority objectives (natural capital; resource efficiency and low carbon economy; health and well-being) of the 7th Environment Action Programme. It does that with the help of a set of selected indicators and other information. The report also highlights the role of eco-innovation and green finance to enable meeting aspects of the resource efficiency and low carbon economy priority objective.

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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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Air quality in Europe — 2016 report

This report presents an updated overview and analysis of air quality in Europe. It is focused on the air quality state in 2014 and the development from 2000 to 2014. It reviews progress towards meeting the requirements of the air quality directives. An overview of the latest findings and estimates of the trends in concentrations, the effects of air pollution on health and its impacts on ecosystems are also given.

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SIGNALS 2016 - Towards clean and smart mobility

Transport and environment in Europe

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Quiet areas in Europe — The environment unaffected by noise pollution

Noise pollution is a major problem for Europe’s environment. Transport and industry are the main sources of concern and prolonged exposure can damage human health and adversely affect ecosystems. European legislation aims to reduce noise pollution and also highlights the need to preserve areas that are currently unaffected. These so called quiet areas are an important component of the European soundscape and may offer havens away from noise pollution. This report sets out to identify where these potential quiet areas might be and offers an insight into how they could benefit the human and wildlife populations that inhabit or benefit from the rural European soundscape that is currently unaffected by noise pollution.

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Air quality in Europe — 2015 report

This report presents an updated overview and analysis of air quality in Europe. It is focused in the state in 2013 and the development from 2004 to 2013. It reviews progress towards meeting the requirements of the air quality directives. An overview of the latest findings and estimates of the effects of air pollution on health and its impacts on ecosystems is also given.

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Assessment of global megatrends — extended background analysis

The purpose of this technical report is to complement the SOER 2015's Assessment of global megatrends by providing substantially more in-depth information and data on each megatrend. It covers aspects and topics that were given less attention — or no mention at all — in the SOER 2015 Assessment of global megatrends. It also provides background information on the research framework and processes that have underpinned EEA work on megatrends since 2009. The goal of this report is to stimulate thinking, spark discussion and thought, and encourage strategic decision-makers in Europe to consider emerging threats and opportunities, and ensure that policy is 'fit for the long term'. Essentially, it aims to trigger questions about what global developments should be accounted for in order to ensure that environmental policy is relevant, adequate and resilient.

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