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EU environment-related indicators

The European Commission's annual Environment Policy Review is a report designed to monitor recent environmental trends and policy developments at EU and national level and the progress towards the EU’s key environmental goals as set out in the 6th Environment Action Programme. The latest edition – 2008 Environment Policy Review - contains 30 key environmental indicators for EU environment policy and includes environmental data tables for each Member State.

The European Commission also annually publishes a leaflet on ten environment-related indicators that highlight EU trends relevant to the Sixth Environment Action Programme’s priority areas: Climate Change, Nature and Biodiversity, Environment and Health and Quality of Life, and Natural Resources and Waste. The trends of the indicators show areas where improvements have been made and  others where further action may be needed.

Beyond GDP

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the best known measure of macro-economic activity. It has also come to be regarded as a proxy indicator for overall societal development and progress in general. However, GDP does not measure environmental sustainability or social inclusion and these limitations need to be taken into account when using it in policy analysis and debates. The need to strengthen data and indicators which would complement GDP has been increasingly recognised and a number of international initiatives have been launched to advance on these issues.

In August 2009, the European Commission adopted the Communication GDP and beyond: Measuring progress in a changing world. In September 2009, this policy paper was presented to and discussed with partners and stakeholders. See further details here.

Environmental indicators in more detail:

Core set of indicators (CSI) of the European Environment Agency (EEA). This set has been established by the EEA management board to provide a manageable and stable basis for indicator-based reporting by the EEA.

The full list of environmental indicators of the EEA.

Safeguarding the earth's capacity to support life in all its diversity, respecting the limits of the planet's natural resources and ensure a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment is a key objective of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. Therefore, many of the EU Sustainable Development Indicators are related to environmental issues.

Progress towards the environment-related objectives of the Lisbon Strategy on Growth and Jobs is monitored via the following environmental indicators.

More environmental indicators provided by the European Statistical System (ESS) are to be found at following database on Eurostat's website.


The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.