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  1. 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

  2. Digital Earth

    Digital Earth is a concept of an interactive digital replica of the entire planet that can facilitate a shared understanding of the multiple relationships between the physical and natural environments and society. To do so, it needs to be accessible globa ...

    30 April 2014

  3. Impacts of climate change

    The European Commission is working to make the European economy more climate-friendly with both mitigation and adaptation policies.   Mitigation policies aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and so produce benefits in terms of avoided climate damages; a ...

    30 April 2014

  4. Costs and benefits of climate policies

    Through its international agreements the EU has endorsed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 20% by 2020. This will redirect EU's energy economy towards a highly efficient and low CO2 one with an important impact on climate change mitigation ...

    30 April 2014

  5. Sustainable Product Policy

    The JRC supports the implementation of European sustainable product policies such as EU Ecolabel, Green Public Procurement, Eco-design of Energy-Related Products (ErP),and Energy Label. Its main tasks are: providing all technical, economic and environment ...

    30 April 2014

  6. Green and resource-efficient Europe

    Transitioning to a green and resource-efficient economy is seen to be a key step towards a sustainable, reindustrialised Europe. The development of a circular economy that is both socially inclusive and environmentally responsible requires systemic change ...

    30 April 2014

  7. Integrated sustainability assessments

    Sustainability science is a solution-oriented discipline that studies the complex relationship between nature and humankind, conciliating the mutually influenced scientific and social reference paradigms, and covering multi-temporal and spatial scales. Th ...

    30 April 2014

  8. Disaster risk management

    Natural and man-made hazards continuously threaten population in Europe and beyond. Managing risks associated with hazards is based on sound policy making in prevention, preparedness, response, and reconstruction activities. The JRC carries out extensive ...

    30 April 2014

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

    25 March 2015

  15. 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

  16. Monitoring of climate and climate change

    Coherent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories and projections are needed to help improve the effectiveness of climate policy. The JRC supports long-term GHG monitoring, in particular within the European Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) Inf ...

    30 April 2014

  17. Soil protection

    Soil provides the main foundation for human activity and housing. It is a limited and fragile resource, that Europe's environment policy seeks to protect. Soil data and information are relevant for a number of EU policy areas: food security, agricult ...

    30 April 2014

  18. Sustainable management of natural resources in ACP countries

    According to the United Nations, at least 17% of the Earth’s surface waters and 10% of coastal and marine areas should be protected. The current 13 000 protected areas are insufficient to ensure the survival of the Earth’s biodiversity. EU development pol ...

    30 April 2014

  19. Water biodiversity

    Freshwater ecosystems are among the most degraded and threatened ecosystems at the global scale. Given the likelihood that demand for available water resources in Europe and worldwide will increase in the future, water ecosystem services need to be protec ...

    30 April 2014

  20. Water governance

    Rivers and seas are a common resource for the countries that share their basins. A key example in Europe is the Danube river which is 2 800 km long, passes through 10 countries and receives water from 19 countries. The JRC’s activities focus on assessing ...

    30 April 2014

  21. 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

  22. 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 ...

    25 March 2015

  23. Earthquakes and tsunamis

    Earthquakes are the natural hazard that generates the largest number of human casualties in the modern society.  Likewise, it is estimated that they are responsible for about 35% of the economic losses generated by natural disasters. Tsunamis are among th ...

    25 March 2015

  24. Floods

    The JRC’s research on floods focuses on improving preparedness and response during a flood crisis, mainly through early warning and monitoring systems, but also through the assessment of mitigation and prevention measures. It has developed several systems ...

    30 April 2014

  25. Preventing industrial accidents

    Chemical installations, petrochemical and oil refineries, and storage facilities are hazardous installations which need to be safe and secure from internal (technical failure, human error, etc.) and external (natural hazards, terrorist attacks, etc.) even ...

    30 October 2014