The European Union's environmental policy has already achieved some beneficial results, but much more development is still needed in this field. Despite a series of common energy programmes, renewable energy sources are developing slowly because of higher costs, operating constraints and difficulties in getting beyond the trial stage. Other solutions include bio-combustibles, solar energy, forestry waste and wind-farms.
Tackling climate change in an effective manner will require a high level of international co-operation. The EU is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Member States and the EU face the challenge of convincing car users to leave their cars at home and choose other options. Public transport providers and local planners must provide attractive and environmentally friendly alternatives.
The fight against water pollution was one of the very first policies to be taken in hand by Europe. Air pollution and water contamination can all be tackled at source, while appropriate technical measures can address the various problems they create.
The European goal is to reduce domestic consumption of energy, water and transport by encouraging households to adopt habits that are more in line with the principle of sustainable development. Adopting international rules to limit waste shipments is vital if we want to prevent the most hazardous waste products from being systematically shipped to the regions with the most lax environmental regimes. Although recycling has undoubtedly been a success, the progress it has achieved has largely been cancelled out by the rapid growth in the volume of hazardous waste.
Sunset on the European coast. The earth is a fragile inheritance.
Wind turbines in Douglas, Central Scotland - harnessing wind energy. This solution ...
Lorraine, France. In what condition will this pure, clear water reach the sea?
Factories in Great Britain.
City entrance, Northern Europe. The use of private cars in city centres is generally ...
Drought has always been one of the biggest problems in agriculture.
Leaded petrol is condemned to disappear.
Antarctic : no region on our planet is exempt from waste.