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Based on Member States' reporting under the Birds and Habitats Directives, the backbone of European Union (EU) nature conservation policy, the latest assessment on the state of nature by the European Environment Agency shows that despite some encouraging developments, the overall picture remains bleak. Only 15 % of habitats and around 27 % of species protected under EU legislation have a good conservation status. An EU-wide assessment of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems found that, overall ...

The European Union (EU) has been protecting the environment since the early 1970s, considering economic prosperity and environmental protection interdependent. As energy policies are a competence shared between the EU and its Member States (MS) joint strategic planning is strongly developed. Human activities can have adverse impacts on the environment, and subsequently on our well-being. Therefore, it is vital to monitor how MS perform in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy supply, ...

Mobile phones are an integral part of everyday life, and it is hard to imagine a world without them. There are nevertheless health concerns, and the debate is ongoing. There is a vast body of research on the potential risks from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by mobile phones. Yet scientific opinion remains split over the possibility of a link between mobile phone radiation and health problems. The results of research in this area have been interpreted in ...

The European Union is at the forefront of international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus safeguard the planet's climate. Greenhouse gases (GHG) – primarily carbon dioxide but also others, including methane and chlorofluorocarbons – trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to global warming. Higher temperatures then act on the climate, with varying effects. For example, dry regions might become drier while, at the poles, the ice caps are melting, causing higher sea levels. In 2016, ...

Clean Vehicles Directive

Briefing 22-03-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 8 November 2017 and referred to the Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). The proposal aims to increase the market uptake of clean – low- and zero-emission — vehicles in the context of public procurement operations, thus contributing to reduction of transport emissions, as well ...

Nature-based solutions are actions inspired by, supported by or copied from nature that aim to help societies address a variety of environmental, social and economic challenges in sustainable ways. Most nature-based solutions do not have a single objective, but aim to bring multiple co-benefits. The concept emerged in the 2000s to promote nature as a source of solutions to challenges associated with climate change. It has been supported and broadened by the International Union for the Conservation ...

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is an agency of the European Union; it was established in 1993 and has its seat in Copenhagen. Its main mission is to provide the EU with objective, reliable and comparable information on the basis of which to conduct environment policy, assess environmental impacts and inform the public about the state of the environment. The Agency's main clients are the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council, as well as its 33 member countries. Its main ...

This briefing reviews Estonia’s progress in the transition to a circular economy, focusing on a three crucial and related policy areas: waste, renewable energy and sustainable bioenergy. A key challenge for Estonia in terms of moving to a circular economy will be to strengthen recycling, as well as high rates of separate collection in cities including Tallinn – Estonia is not on track to meet the EU’s 2020 targets for municipal solid waste recycling. • The share of renewable energy has increased ...

Freshwater ecosystems are particularly rich in biodiversity and fulfil important ecosystem services. However, the continuing presence of pollutants still raises concerns for public health, as well as for nature conservation. Surface water bodies and groundwater alike are threatened by synthetic and also naturally occurring substances that can have a negative impact on the aquatic environment and on human health. Increased temperature and over-abstraction of water are further causes for concern. Meanwhile ...

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), invasive alien species (IAS) are the second most significant threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. They are also capable of causing significant damage to human health and to the economy. The cost of controlling invasive alien species and repairing the harm they do in the EU is estimated at €12 billion annually. To tackle this cross-border issue, an EU Regulation on IAS was adopted in 2014 and entered into force in January ...