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  1. Agriculture and food security

    To meet the needs of the world's growing population and taking into account changing consumption patterns, natural resources scarcity and the impact of climate change, food production must be increased in an economically, environmentally, and sociall ...

    30 April 2014

  2. Energy and transport

    Research in energy and transport areas is vital to ensure a sustainable future of our planet in general and a low-carbon economy in particular. The aim of research in these fields is to support EU policies that ensure sustainable, safe, secure and efficie ...

    19 January 2015

  3. Environment and climate change

    Protection of the environment for future generations and efforts to limit the impacts of climate change are of the utmost importance in European and world policy. The international community has agreed that global warming should be kept below 2ºC compared ...

    19 January 2015

  4. Information Society

    The JRC supports the European Commission's Digital Agenda by assessing its policies towards economic recovery and competitiveness – digital economy, Single Digital Market and industrial analysis of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) ...

    30 April 2014

  5. Innovation and growth

    Research and innovation are acknowledged to play a key role in maintaining sustainable levels of growth and employment. To address the challenges and opportunities facing Europe, innovation has been placed at the core of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart ...

    19 January 2015

  6. Standards

    Standards stimulate and enable innovation and competiveness in Europe. Industry needs framework conditions which are the basis on which to invest, innovate and gain global market share in an increasingly competitive world. Standardisation brings efficienc ...

    30 April 2014

  7. Safety and Security

    The JRC provides European policy makers with scientific and technological advice on safety, security and stability within the EU and beyond. Research, analysis and in-house developed tools support EU policies on border security, including maritime borders ...

    19 January 2015

  8. Agricultural monitoring

    Agricultural monitoring is carried out at the JRC mainly to distinguish, identify and measure the main crop production areas in Europe, estimate production early in the year and check the validity of farmers’ applications for EU subsidies. The European Co ...

    30 April 2014

  9. Crop yield forecasting

    Crop yield forecasts and crop production estimates are necessary at EU and Member State level to provide the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) decision makers with timely information for rapid decision-making during the growing season. Estimates of cr ...

    30 April 2014

  10. Fisheries and Aquaculture

    Our seas, oceans and coasts are important resources for the EU. The livelihoods of many citizens depend on the sea – fisheries of course, but also tourism and trade are key sectors of the EU economy. The EU fishing industry is the fourth largest in the wo ...

    30 April 2014

  11. Earth observation

    Earth observation is the gathering of information about planet Earth’s physical, chemical and biological systems via remote sensing technologies, usually involving satellites carrying imaging devices. Earth observation is used to monitor and assess the st ...

    30 April 2014

  12. Environmental monitoring

    Environmental monitoring can be described as a programme of recurring, systematic studies that reveals the state of the environment. The specific aspects of the environment to be studied are determined by environmental objectives and environmental legisla ...

    30 April 2014

  13. Natural and man-made hazards

    Natural and man-made hazards include, for instance, droughts, desertification, floods, fires, earthquakes and dispersion of radioactive gases in the atmosphere.  They have significant social, environmental and economic impacts. The JRC carries out extensi ...

    30 April 2014

  14. Forestry

    35% of the European land area is covered by forests, which represent 25% of the world’s forest resources. Forests provide habitats and nutrients for organisms, modulate hydrologic flow, and help conserve soil resources. They constitute one of the most imp ...

    30 April 2014

  15. Ecosystems and biodiversity

    As biodiversity is coming under serious pressure, with around one in four species currently threatened with extinction, the European Commission has adopted an ambitious EU Biodiversity Strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in th ...

    30 April 2014

  16. Coastal and marine environment

    The coastal and marine environment is a major provider of goods and services, such as food, fossil fuels, construction materials, transport and recreation. It also hosts an invaluable biodiversity that forms complex ecosystems which are threatened by huma ...

    30 April 2014

  17. Water

    Water represents a societal challenge. On a planet where 70% of the surface is covered by water, only 1% of this amount is actually usable freshwater. In the European Union, water scarcity and droughts already affect one third of the European territory an ...

    30 April 2014

  18. Soil

    Soil is a natural medium composed of mineral particles, organic matter, water, air and living organisms. It is essentially a non-renewable resource which performs many vital functions: food and other biomass production, and storage, filtration and the tra ...

    30 April 2014

  19. Climate change

    Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on natural resources, the world economy and human health. It will lead to increased temperatures, rising sea levels, altered precipitation patterns and increased frequencies of extreme weather events ...

    30 April 2014

  20. Agricultural biodiversity

    Agricultural land covers almost half of Europe’s territory. Technological development, mechanisation, agro-chemicals and genetic research have led to structural modifications in farming practices and put pressure on the environment, leading to soil deplet ...

    30 April 2014

  21. Atmospheric dispersion

    Atmospheric dispersion models  are used to estimate or to predict the downwind concentration of air pollutants or harmful substances emitted from sources. They have widespread use in situations such as emergency response, the planning of policies and stra ...

    30 April 2014

  22. Desertification and drought

    Drought and desertification are closely related phenomena. Persisting over months or years, drought can affect large areas and may have serious environmental, social and economic impacts. While drought is a natural phenomenon, whose impacts can be exacerb ...

    30 April 2014

  23. Air quality and greenhouse gases

    Despite continued efforts to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants, air pollution remains a worldwide concern, including in large areas of Europe. Improving air quality while keeping the climate hospitable is a complex process which requires a thorou ...

    30 April 2014

  24. Climate change mitigation

    The EU has a stated objective of limiting global climate change to a temperature increase of 2ºC above preindustrial levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in 2007 that reaching that target would require the reduction of glo ...

    30 April 2014

  25. Fires

    Forest fires occur regularly all over Europe and it is very likely that the damage they cause will increase in the future. The JRC monitors European forests to continually assess the risk of fires, provide early alerts and provide information on active fi ...

    30 April 2014