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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New challenges facing Europe’s waste water treatment plants present opportunities for improving sustainability

More investment is needed to make urban waste water treatment plants fit to meet the difficult challenges posed by the impacts of climate change, as well as the presence of antibiotics and other micro-pollutants in waste water, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.

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Europe’s circular economy still in its infancy

Circular material use can minimise waste and resource extraction, improve resource efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to conserving biodiversity. However, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today, circular economy initiatives in Europe are still at an early stage and would benefit from more investments in upscaling promising innovations and in monitoring progress towards circularity.

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Protecting Europe’s land and soil resources is fundamental for a sustainable future

Land and soil underpin life on our planet. The way we currently use these vital and finite resources in Europe is not sustainable. Human activities — growing cities and infrastructure networks, intensive agriculture, pollutants and greenhouse gases released to the environment — transform Europe’s landscapes and exert increasing pressure on land and soil. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals 2019, published today, looks at a series of issues linked to land and soil, including links to climate change, agriculture, soil biodiversity, contamination and governance, and stresses why we need to manage them sustainably.

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Gap between real-world and type-approval emissions undermines incentives for cleaner cars

Incentives to promote fuel-efficient cars have not always resulted in expected emission reductions, due to the growing gap between real-world and type approval emissions. However, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, incentives that boost the uptake of electric vehicles considerably reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions.

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Collecting litter and data to combat plastic pollution

More and more communities around the world are working against marine litter and plastic pollution. A Danish initiative mobilises schoolchildren to collect plastic waste and research data that will become part of the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) database on marine litter. Better data on plastic pollution helps inform policies and tackle the problem.

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