Unsustainable land use threatens European landscapes

Accelerating rates of construction, changing demographics, technological changes, and climate change are some of the key drivers influencing the use of Europe’s vast landscapes. A European Environment Agency report published today says that the continent’s land use increasingly sees striking changes and conflicts over land demand which will require reconciling place-based management and macro policies to foster responsible land use.

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Shaping the future of energy in Europe

In many ways energy powers our lives and we depend on a reliable supply of energy at an affordable price, but at what cost to our environment? The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals 2017 published today looks into Europe’s energy system and its transition towards clean, smart and renewable energy.

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Air pollution from agriculture: ammonia exceeds emission limits in 2015

Ammonia (NH3) emissions in Europe have fallen since 1990, but not as much as emissions of other air pollutants tracked under an internationally agreed United Nations Convention. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today, ammonia emissions increased in 2015 and several European Union Member States as well as the EU as a whole exceeded their respective NH3 emission limits under the Convention.

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Rapid action needed on climate financing to meet low-carbon targets

European countries need to rapidly step up efforts and define their investment needs and plans to match their objectives in shifting to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. This is the key finding of a stocktaking briefing published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today, which also stresses the need for clear information on investment needs and priorities to attract private finance.

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Better mix of measures including pricing and awareness campaigns key to improving sustainable water use

In the face of challenges like drought and growing demand in many European Union countries, managing water supplies will require a better mix of pricing and non-pricing measures to ensure efficient household water use, according to a new European Environment Agency briefing published today.

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Air pollution in Europe: Countries struggle to meet emission limits due to emissions from agriculture and transport

Eleven EU Member States breached air pollution ceilings in 2015 mostly due to high emissions from agricultural and transport sources, according to new data and a briefing released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The briefing includes information on countries’ 2015 emissions and national ceilings for different pollutants.

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More European sites meet excellent bathing water quality standards than ever before

More than 85 percent of bathing water sites monitored across Europe in 2016 met the most stringent ‘excellent’ quality standards — meaning they were mostly free from pollutants harmful to human health and the environment, according to the annual bathing water quality report published today. Over 96 percent of bathing water sites met minimum quality requirements set out under European Union rules.

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Road traffic remains biggest source of noise pollution in Europe

With an estimated 100 million Europeans affected by harmful levels, road traffic is by far the largest source of noise pollution in Europe, according to a new assessment published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

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European hazardous waste management improving, but its prevention needs attention

Despite improvements in hazardous waste management, more measures would be required to prevent the build-up of hazardous waste across Europe, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report released today. The report reviews the application of waste prevention programmes across European countries regarding waste types that are considered to be most dangerous to human health and the environment.

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TERM 2016: Fundamental changes needed for sustainable mobility

What changes are needed in order to move towards a more sustainable mobility system in Europe? A European Environment Agency (EEA) report released today assesses the latest environmental trends in transport and presents examples of the different transitions needed in terms of technology, urban planning and societal behaviour to make transport more sustainable.

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More action is needed to protect the natural environment and people’s health

Substantial progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, air and other pollutants, and improving energy and material efficiency, needs to be complemented by more actions by EU Member States to fully apply agreed-to policies to better protect biodiversity, natural resources, and people’s health. These are the key findings of a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report which reviews key trends and outlook towards achieving EU 2020 environmental objectives.

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Innovations across Europe lead way towards sustainable future

Achieving the European Union’s long-term objective of shifting to a sustainable, low-carbon future will be a massive undertaking. It will require fundamental changes in how we live, produce goods and consume. A new joint report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) explores the innovations and new knowledge that can catalyse and guide transitions. It further investigates how the EEA and Eionet can help support such change.

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Renewables continue to grow in the EU, but Member States need to step up ambition on energy savings

The EU Member States have lowered their energy consumption in recent years, despite a slight increase in 2015. At the same time, they use more and more renewable energy. Overall, the 28 Member States are collectively well on their way to meeting their 2020 targets on renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. However, continuing current trends will fall short of longer term objectives, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today.

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Quality of Europe’s water for people’s use has improved, but challenges remain to keep it clean and healthy

The quality of drinking water and bathing water, and the effectiveness of waste water treatment across the European Union continues to improve, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. However, pollution from sources like waste water treatment plants, agricultural runoff and storm water overflows, and emerging risks like micro pollutants from personal care products pose challenges to maintaining clean and healthy water for people’s use.

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Less household waste going to landfill in Europe

European countries are improving their methods to prevent household trash and other municipal waste from ending up in landfill sites. Recycling rates, in particular, have increased considerably across Europe over the past decade, due in part to European environmental policies, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today.

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Restoring European rivers and lakes in cities improves quality of life

Rivers and lakes located in European cities and towns are getting cleaner thanks to improvements in waste water treatment and restoration projects which have brought many waterways back to life. New forms of water management contribute to make our cities greener, smarter and more sustainable, but key challenges remain, according to a new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) released today.

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Fish to fork: a need to implement changes in the food system

Securing our need for food has become a major threat to the environment, driving increased emissions and over-exploitation of natural resources such as water, soil and fish. Our health and well-being have also been affected. Ensuring nutritious food for all in a fair and environmentally sound way has become a societal, economic and policy challenge across the world. A shared understanding of the food system and the roles different actors — policy makers, producers and other stakeholders in the food supply-chain — play will be crucial to a sustainable future, according to a new European Environment Agency report published today.

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Surplus emission permits start decreasing in the EU’s emissions trading system

The surplus of CO2 emission allowances in the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) started declining in 2015. This is the first significant decrease since unused allowances started accumulating in 2008. However, the surplus remains substantial, according to the European Environment Agency’s annual report on the EU’s emissions cap and trade system published today.

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Decommissioning fossil fuel power plants between now and 2030 essential for Europe’s low carbon future

Significant changes will be needed in the Member States’ energy-generating mix if the European Union is to meet its 2050 goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % compared to 1990 levels, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. While the European Union has made considerable progress in improving energy efficiency and using renewable energy sources, a well-planned transition out of carbon-intensive power generation is needed to meet the long-term aim of creating a low-carbon society.

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Designing tax systems for a green economy transition

Environmental taxes can contribute to a healthier planet and healthier people. They also spur jobs and growth, are easy to administer and difficult to evade. However, meeting EU climate and other environmental policy targets will erode the existing base for these sort of taxes. This and other systemic factors have implications for the design of future tax systems in Europe, according to an EEA report published today.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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