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It also releases greenhouse gases and contributes to climate change.
We are at a critical decision point in time: the negative impacts of our current energy choices on the one hand, and the opportunities that clean energy sources offer on the other.
However, many people continue to be negatively affected by air pollution, especially in cities.
Given its complexity, tackling air pollution requires taking coordinated action at many levels.
The European Environment Agency provides sound, independent information on the environment for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public.
In close collaboration with the European Environmental Information and Observation Network (Eionet) and its 33 member countries, the EEA gathers data and produces assessments on a wide range of topics related to the environment.
How does the EEA track the progress EU Member States are making in reaching these goals?
We asked Melanie Sporer, EEA expert on climate change mitigation and energy, to explain the Agency’s role in this task.
The two sectors are growing rapidly, which also has an impact on the environment, notably emissions.
They are both economic sectors that directly bring many societal and economic benefits, such as the delivery of a wide range of goods and services and provision of employment and mobility for personal leisure or business purposes.
However, from the broader environmental perspective, both sectors are also seen as challenging, because increasing demand within each of the sectors is exerting increasing pressures on the environment and climate.
Improvements in air quality would not only benefit our health, but could also help tackle climate change.
The European Union (EU) has committed to several climate and energy targets which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and boost the use of renewable energy sources.