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Environmental Challenges faced by Europe and EU policies to tackle them

The environmental challenges that Europe faces today are considerable. European natural capital is being degraded by socioeconomic activities such as agriculture, fisheries, transport, industry, tourism and urban sprawl.

Global pressures on the environment have grown at an unprecedented rate since the 1990s, driven not least by economic and population growth, and changing consumption patterns.

The impacts of climate change, air and water pollution and the continued degradation of our biodiversity are becoming ever more real in our daily lives.

Addressing these complex challenges

The EU has set out an ambitious set of policies to tackle them, such as through the:

As a knowledge factor, the EEA is responding to these challenges by designing a new knowledge agenda that links supporting policy implementation to an increased understanding of how to achieve more systemic long-term objectives. In recent years many of their reports, including The European Environment – State and Outlook 2015 (SOER 2015), have highlighted the vital importance of systemic approaches.

Today’s environmental problems, including climate change, involve a high degree of complexity. For example, we cannot improve air quality in Europe without low carbon transport, better-designed cities, enhanced international cooperation to tackle the transboundary movement of air pollutants, and a network of green spaces around urban areas.

Our assessments regularly underline the need for consistent and long-term policy objectives. Introducing fundamental changes to key systems can take decades. Building a clean and low carbon mobility or energy system without clear objectives is likely to hamper investments in innovative solutions.

Interview, Dr Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency in

Verde Environmental Consultants has built a team of air and water resource assessment specialists who are focused on delivering quality  air and water quality monitoring services in air and water disciplines.

Relevant Projects

Ambient Air and Occupational Hygiene Monitoring

Capability Document

Environmental Air and Noise Monitoring

Verde – Water Services Capability Document