Environmental indicator report 2012
Environmental indicator report 2012 : ecosystem resilience and resource efficiency in a green economy in Europe. European Environment Agency, May 2012, 156 p.
The report presents established indicators that illustrate progress towards improving resource efficiency, and indicators that depict the risk of passing environmental thresholds. Jointly, they enable policymakers and the public to reflect on where Europe stands vis-à-vis some aspects of a green economy… more
Key findings (© EEA) :
The report uses well-established environmental indicators, assessing progress towards a green economy along six environmental themes.
- Nitrogen emissions and threats to biodiversity: progress has been made to reduce pollution causing acidification and eutrophication. However, nitrogen emissions from sewage and agriculture remain high, and these pollutants continue to damage ecosystems and habitats.
- Carbon emissions and climate change: domestic greenhouse gas emissions have decreased substantially across the European Union but continue to rise on the global level. Rising temperatures threaten ecosystem resilience.
- Air pollution and air quality: air pollutant emissions have decreased in many parts of Europe; nonetheless, poor air quality is still a serious health issue, particularly in many cities.
- The marine environment: overfishing, shipping and other maritime activities put pressure on the marine environment; leading to altered, often less resilient marine ecosystems.
- Stress on water resources: managing water use and demand has helped reduce water use in all sectors; but high levels of water stress still endanger ecosystems in European water bodies. This problem is exacerbated by climate change and inefficient water use in some areas.
- Use of material resources: there has been progress in ‘decoupling’ economic growth and material resource use. However, overall consumption and production patterns are not sustainable.