Publications

Circular by design - Products in the circular economy

This report explores the circular economy from a product perspective, applying a systemic approach and transition theory. Drivers of product design and usage are discussed in the context of emerging consumption trends and business models. For governance to be effective, it has to address the product life-cycle and the societal context determining it. Indicators and assessment tools are proposed that can help fill the current data and knowledge gaps.

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Renewable energy in Europe 2017: recent growth and knock-on effects

Addressing climate change requires a globally coordinated, long-term response across all economic sectors. The 2015 Paris Agreement provides the framework for limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and for pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Early in this process, the European Union has adopted ambitious and binding climate and energy targets for 2020 and 2030. Member States have set the strategic objective of building an Energy Union, which aims to provide affordable, secure and sustainable energy (European Council, 2014) and which has a forward‑looking climate policy at its core (European Council, 2015). The most recent package of legislative measures, adopted by the European Commission in November 2016, aims to consolidate and match national climate and energy efforts, and facilitate the delivery of the 2030 targets for climate, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources (RES). This report provides information about progress in RES in 2014 at the EU, country, energy market sector and RES technology levels.

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Financing urban adaptation to climate change

Municipalities across Europe increasingly acknowledge the need to adapt to climate change and have begun to adopt various measures. Meeting the costs of adaptation measures for climate change is, however, a major challenge. Municipalities have found innovative ways to overcome that challenge and have started implementing measures. These solutions could be relevant for other cities, towns and smaller municipalities too, and examples are collected and presented in this publication as an inspiration. It offers insights into lessons learned on the ground regarding the most successful approaches, the difficulties encountered and overcome and the key success factors in financing local adaptation action.

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Mapping Europe's environmental future: understanding the impacts of global  megatrends at the national level

This report sets out the logic for identifying the implications of Global Mega Trends at the national, regional or European level, and aims to provide inspiration to EEA member and cooperating countries to undertake their own national studies. It describes the context and the reasons why understanding global trends is important, and sets out a suggested methodology for doing so.

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Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016

This report is an indicator-based assessment of past and projected climate change and its impacts on ecosystems and society. It also looks at society’s vulnerability to these impacts and at the development of adaptation policies and the underlying knowledge base. This is the fourth ‘Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe’ report, which is published every four years. This edition aims to support the implementation and review process of the 2013 EU Adaptation Strategy, which is foreseen for 2018, and the development of national and transnational adaptation strategies and plans.

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Transitions towards a more sustainable mobility system

The EEA’s new report ‘TERM 2016: Transitions towards a more sustainable mobility system’ assesses the progress European Union Member States are making to improve the environmental performance of transport in line with related EU policy targets. The report also looks at the big changes underway in the sector, from emerging technologies like electric and driverless cars, or recent practices that have caught on, like shared or on-demand online mobility services for commuters. The report stresses that transport activity in the years ahead will continue to put pressure on the environment if action isn’t taken to make transport sustainable.

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Sustainability transitions: Now for the long term

This report was developed in cooperation with the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) — a partnership network of the EEA and its member and cooperating countries involving more than 1 000 experts and 350 national institutions across Europe. Drawing on evidence collected from across the network, the report represents an initial attempt to explore what the concepts of sustainability transitions and transformations mean in practice, and how the EEA and Eionet can help develop the knowledge needed to support systemic change in Europe. Case studies are used to explain and illustrate key concepts and to give a sense of what activities are already under way at local levels. The report concludes with reflections from the EEA's Scientific Committee and Executive Director, which provide further insights into the new knowledge needs and the potential role of the EEA and Eionet in responding to them.

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Rivers and lakes in European cities

Most European cities have at least one river or lake crossing their urban landscape. Urbanisation has come at a cost to rivers and lakes, as they have been heavily degraded to enable development, carry waste, supply drinking water and facilitate transport and industry.

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Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 — Transforming cities in a changing climate

This report builds on and complements existing products and initiatives on urban adaptation in Europe. It focuses on the state of actions in the field and progress achieved since the first EEA report in 2012, and it considers this analysis in relation to current challenges: Do existing actions lead to attractive, climate-resilient cities and if not, what needs to be changed? The report aims to broaden perspectives and provide input to a review and subsequent adjustment of urban adaptation to climate change by local governments and by supporting regional, national and European institutions, researchers and other relevant stakeholders.

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Communication, environment and behaviour

A scoping study on the links between public communication, environment policy implementation and behavioural science. In its Multiannual Work Programme 2014-2018, the EEA highlights the need for a transition towards a more sustainable society, fully aligned with the European Union’s 7th Environment Action Programme. This study explores - and aims to develop - the role of public communication to improve the implementation of environmental legislation and to contribute to this debate by bringing communications, environment and behaviour closer. It draws from other EEA work, in particular on consumption and policy evaluation where relevant.

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Urban sprawl in Europe - joint EEA-FOEN report

This report provides a comparable measurement of urban sprawl for 32 European countries at three levels (the country level, the NUTS-2 region level and the 1-km2 cell level) and for two years (2006 and 2009). The analysis is based on the Copernicus system which monitors the Earth and collects data by different sources. This data provides information about a number of thematic areas, including land. Under land a pan-European component delivers information about various areas, including the level of sealed soil (imperviousness), through high resolution layers taken from satellite imagery. The analysis uses new urban sprawl metrics taking into account the way built-up areas are laid out and how they are used. It also looks at the factors which contribute to an increase or decrease in urban sprawl. The results confirm the conclusions of earlier EEA reports namely that in many parts of Europe current levels of urban sprawl have contributed to detrimental ecological, economic and social effects. This gives cause for concern and such effects may increase alongside planned urban development.

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Urban sustainability issues — Resource-efficient cities: good practice

Cities are key players in minimising the use of resources and in developing the circular model. Generally, municipalities provide utilities and control public services for citizens and businesses that influence the majority of resource and energy use and the production of emissions and waste. Local authorities have the capacity to implement responses at multiple scales. This report analyses both the supply and the demand issues. It is divided into two parts: the first is devoted to how to avoid, prevent and reduce the use of resources; the second addresses reuse, recycling and harvesting.

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Urban sustainability issues —   What is a resource-efficient city?

The report introduces the concept of urban metabolism, the circular model and the role of compactness in urban resource efficiency. Cities require natural resources and energy to sustain the activities and daily life of the urban population. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to minimise the use of resources needed to sustain urban life and to reduce waste and emissions. As the urban form shapes the way people live, work and move, compact cities offer great potential to reduce the dependence on natural resources and energy. Urban planning, based on a vision of the future and developed with local stakeholders and crossing administrative borders, is a key factor in increasing the density of urban areas.

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Urban sustainability issues — Enabling resource-efficient cities

Shifting to a resource-efficient society is not just a question of technological change but a systemic one. It is a process that assumes fundamental changes in the governance, economy, social structure, culture and practices of the societal system. This report analyses challenges and opportunities for enabling resource-efficient cities.

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Global megatrends update: 11 Diversifying approaches to governance

In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA updated each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately. In mid-2015 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report.

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Assessment of global megatrends

The global megatrends report assesses 11 global megatrends (GMT) of importance for Europe's environment in the long term. In assessing key drivers, trends and implications for Europe, it aims to provide an improved basis for strategic European environmental policymaking.

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Global megatrends update: 4 Accelerating technological change

In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA updated each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately. In mid-2015 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report.

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Global megatrend update 9: Increasingly severe consequences of climate change

In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment's state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA updated each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately. In mid-2015 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report.

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Global megatrends update: 3 Changing disease burdens and risks of pandemics

In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA updated each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately. In mid-2015 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report.

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Performance of water utilities beyond compliance

Sharing knowledge bases to support environmental and resource-efficiency policies and technical improvements

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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