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Methane gas emissions: a greenhouse gas crucial to mitigation efforts

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are crucial to tackling the impacts of climate change, especially methane gas emissions which are seen as a priority area for action by the EU. The EEA recently published a briefing on methane emissions in the EU which includes a new data visualisation tool. We sat down with Ricardo Fernandez, EEA climate change mitigation expert and coordinator of the EU’s GHG inventory to the UNFCCC, to explain the briefing and why reducing methane emissions is so crucial to wider mitigation efforts.

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EU Member States make progress in climate adaptation to boost resilience, EEA review finds

EU Member States recognise the importance of adapting to impacts of heatwaves, droughts, floods, heavy precipitation and changing temperatures and of mainstreaming climate change adaptation to a wide range of affected areas like agriculture, or water and disaster risk management. These are key findings of a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today which assesses the state of national adaptation actions in 2021.

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Zero pollution

Zero pollution

08 Dec 2022

The zero pollution action plan is a cornerstone of the EU’s ambitions to improve the well-being and health of citizens and future generations under the European Green Deal. It sets out the vision that by 2050, the EU should have reduced pollution to the extent that it no longer harms human health and natural ecosystems. This is translated into key 2030 targets to speed up reducing pollution at source. The European Environment Agency has produced this zero pollution monitoring assessment to assess progress towards these targets and to support the Commission in the delivery of the long-term vision of a non-toxic environment.

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Methane emissions on a downward trend, but accelerated cuts needed to meet EU climate targets

While emissions of methane across the European Union have decreased over past years, the overall reduction in emissions needs to accelerate to meet 2030 and 2050 EU climate objectives. Increased global efforts to reduce methane emissions would also be needed to mitigate global warming in the short term, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing on trends and drivers of methane emissions published today.

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Trends and projections: limited rebound in EU emissions amid post-pandemic recovery and energy crisis

Greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption rose in 2021 due mostly to Europe’s post-pandemic recovery, according to the latest ‘Trends and Projections’ report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Most EU Member States successfully achieved the EU’s 2020 climate and energy targets and are now turning their sights toward climate neutrality while also addressing the current energy supply crisis. Achieving the more ambitious 2030 climate and energy targets will demand more than a doubling of annual progress in the roll-out of renewables, the reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

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Post-pandemic recovery offers European cities chance to boost shift to sustainability

There is a unique opportunity for European cities to better align their the post-COVID-19 recoveries with efforts to make them more sustainable and tackle the impacts of climate change all at the same time. A key legacy of the pandemic is that our cities are a lot more flexible and open to change when it comes to planning and management. This can benefit the shift to sustainability, according to the latest study on urban sustainability, published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

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Serious challenges in Europe's agri-food systems

A profound rethink of how we produce food and operate global food chains and related industrial processing sectors is needed to make them resilient and sustainable. Much more must be done to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as well as their pressures on water resources and biodiversity — efforts which are currently almost stagnant — according to European Environment Agency (EEA) briefings on agriculture and food systems, published today.

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Exposure to pollution causes 10% of all cancer cases in Europe

Exposure to air pollution, second-hand smoke, radon, ultraviolet radiation, asbestos, certain chemicals and other pollutants causes over 10% of all cancer cases in Europe, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. The good news is that these risks are preventable.

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Zero Pollution: Large number of Europe’s bathing waters meet highest quality standards

The annual Bathing Water report, published today, shows that in 2021 almost 85% of Europe's bathing water sites met the European Union's most stringent ‘excellent' water quality standards. The assessment gives a good indication of where swimmers can find the best quality bathing sites across Europe this summer. The assessment, put together by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the European Commission, is based on the monitoring of 21 859 bathing sites across Europe. These cover the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland throughout 2021.

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Continued drop in EU’s greenhouse gas emissions confirms achievement of 2020 target

The European Union continued to record substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions in 2020, posting an 11% drop compared to 2019, according to the latest official data published today by the European Environment Agency. The data confirms a 30-year downward trend which led to the EU achieving its 2020 target to reduce emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels.

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What could a sustainable Europe look like in 2050?

What could a sustainable Europe look like in 2050? A European Environment Agency (EEA) web report, published today, presents four ‘imaginaries’, or scenarios, offering strongly contrasting approaches to achieving Europe’s socio-economic and environmental goals. The report is based on co-creative work by the EEA and its network (Eionet).

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Vast majority of Europe’s urban population remains exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution

Ninety-six percent of Europe’s urban population was exposed to fine particulate matter above the health-based guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the latest annual European Environment Agency (EEA) air quality assessment published today.

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A better understanding of links between natural resources can help the EU’s sustainability drive

Addressing the links between natural resources like food, energy, water, land, materials and ecosystems services is key to supporting Europe’s ambitions in shifting to a sustainable future, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.

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Solidarity in Europe in times of war

The Russian military aggression in Ukraine changed the lives of Ukrainians from one day to the next. The impacts of this unjustified war are felt not only in Ukraine but also well beyond the borders of Ukraine and will continue to impact us all for years and even for generations to come.

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Annual average change in environmental tax revenues and labour tax revenues between 2002 and 2019

A comparison of the trends in the average annual growth of environmental tax revenues as compared to labour tax revenues

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Total direct impact on receipts of the transition to net zero emissions

Long-term projection of environmental tax revenues in the UK

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Positive and negative trends in environmental tax revenues in EU-27, EU Member States and Norway between 2002 and 2019

Overview of changes in environmental tax revenues as a share of total tax revenues in EU-27, EU Member States and Norway between 2002 and 2019

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Emissions from road traffic and domestic heating behind breaches of EU air quality standards across Europe

Breaches of EU air quality limits for nitrogen dioxide across Europe were predominantly due to road traffic, while domestic heating lay behind the majority of exceedances for particulate matter, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment on air quality plans published today.

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Europe's environmental taxes in decline, despite potentially crucial role

The European Green Deal acknowledges the crucial role of taxation in Europe’s sustainability transition. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, shows that revenues from environmental taxes can support transition investments but future revenue streams from these taxes will erode as European Union (EU) environmental and climate policy objectives are achieved. The relative share of environmental taxes to total tax revenues has also declined in the past two decades.

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