Improving circular economy practices in the construction sector key to increasing material reuse, high quality recycling

Construction and demolition waste makes up just over one third of total waste generation in the EU. Despite relatively high recovery rates of used materials, Europe’s construction sector will need to be even more ambitious in its waste management practices if it is to fully embrace Europe’s circular economy. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today, circular approaches are key to increasing the quality and quantity of recycling and reuse of construction and demolition materials.

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Renewables crucial for EU decarbonisation, but technology choices matter for air quality

Growth in renewable energy use since 2005 has been instrumental in reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union (EU), according to a briefing published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Many renewables, including those sourced from wind, solar geothermal energy or heat pumps, are also effective in cutting air pollutant emissions but the results are mixed when biomass replaces fossil fuel burning, especially in households.

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PFAS pollution is widespread in Europe but risks are still poorly understood

People and the environment are exposed to a wide variety of extremely persistent chemicals known as PFAS, many of which are known to be toxic. A briefing by the European Environment Agency, published today, presents an overview of these chemicals, which continue to accumulate in people and the environment.

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Eutrophication remains a major problem for Europe’s seas despite some progress

The shared vision for Europe’s seas is a healthy marine environment where human-induced eutrophication is minimised. However, the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) assessment, published today, shows that eutrophication still remains a large scale problem in some of Europe’s regionals seas. The assessment shows some positive effects from better nutrient management but the overall target of healthy seas will not be met everywhere by 2020.

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Europe’s state of the environment 2020: change of direction urgently needed to face climate change challenges, reverse degradation and ensure future prosperity

Europe will not achieve its 2030 goals without urgent action during the next 10 years to address the alarming rate of biodiversity loss, increasing impacts of climate change and the overconsumption of natural resources. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) latest ‘State of the Environment’ report published today states that Europe faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scale and urgency. The report says, however, there is reason for hope, amid increased public awareness of the need to shift to a sustainable future, technological innovations, growing community initiatives and stepped up EU action like the European Green Deal.

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EU Member States add more climate policies, better evidence on costs and effectiveness needed

The European Union (EU) Member States reported more than 400 new climate change mitigation policies between 2017 and 2019, according to data released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). EU Member States have now reported more than 1 900 climate actions, most of them targeting energy supply or energy consumption.

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Private consumption: Textiles EU’s fourth largest cause of environmental pressures after food, housing, transport

Consumption of clothing, footwear and household textiles in the European Union (EU) uses annually about 1.3 tonnes of raw materials and more than 100 cubic metres of water per person, according to a European Environment Agency briefing, published today. A wide-scale change towards circular economy in textiles production and consumption is needed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, resource use and pressures on nature.

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Climate change: Significant drop in EU emissions in 2018 but further effort needed to reach 2030 target

The European Union (EU) cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2 % in 2018, according to preliminary estimates released today by the European Environment Agency. However, rising energy consumption continues to hamper progress on the share of energy generated by renewable sources and on energy efficiency. As in previous years, the transport sector remains a particular concern with rising GHG emissions, low uptake of renewable energy sources and insufficient reductions of transport fuels’ life-cycle emissions.

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Reuse and recycling are key to tackling Europe’s waste problem and to foster a more circular economy

Improved circular and climate-friendly business models and policies to boost reuse and recycling, plus improved consumer awareness will help the European Union tackle the growing problem posed by plastic, battery, electronic and textile waste, according to two European Environment Agency (EEA) briefings published today.

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Cutting air pollution in Europe would prevent early deaths, improve productivity and curb climate change

Europe’s air is getting cleaner but persistent pollution, especially in cities, still damages people’s health and the economy. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new analysis on air quality shows that exposure to air pollution caused about 400,000 premature deaths in the European Union (EU) in 2016.

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