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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission

Modern photovoltaic systems provide competitive energy returns
Most modern societies depend on fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) as sources of energy for development and growth. Switching to renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic (PV) systems, is necessary for sustainable development in the future. A new study suggests that it is currently much more efficient to use fossil fuels to develop PV power plants than to combust the same amount of fossil fuels in conventional thermal power plants: thus the sooner PV systems are developed, the sooner society will reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.
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Costs of reducing phosphorus pollution in lakes
A recent study has assessed the costs and effectiveness of reducing phosphorus pollution for lakes in Scotland, UK, to achieve good ecological status as required by the EU´s Water Framework Directive (WFD). It was found that phosphorus in 72% of the lake area in Scotland could be mitigated at a cost of lb5.7 million (EUR7 million) per year, which is considered a proportionate or reasonable cost given the resulting social benefits.
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More research needed on endocrine disrupters
There has been an established increase in reproductive disorders and other hormonal diseases, according to a recent European Environment Agency (EEA) report. The report documents a growing body of research that indicates this increase is influenced by growing levels of chemical pollutants in the environment known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).
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Assessing the potential of ecosystem services with land use data
A new study has developed a system to assess the potential of ecosystems to supply ecosystem services in the EU-25 plus Switzerland and Norway. It is one of the first to use historical and projected data on land use change at a continental scale to estimate the provision of ecosystem services and to assess possible trade-offs between them.
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Mixed success for European environmental policies
European environmental policies have enabled some progress towards a sustainable green economy, according to a recent report from the European Environment Agency. The report identifies the progress made against a suite of environmental indicators set by the European Environment Agency which show that policies to encourage resource efficiency have been moderately successful. However, policies designed to improve ecosystem resilience have met with less success, potentially due to the longer timescales required to see progress in this area. The report concludes that Europe needs new policies and objectives that recognise the links between resource efficiency and ecosystem resilience if it is to move to a sustainable green economy.
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