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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission...

Trade-offs in ecosystem services in Central and Eastern Europe
Researchers have developed a new approach for identifying regions that are most suitable for expanding ecosystem services. This could be used to help inform spatial planning decisions. By modelling ecosystem services´ opportunity costs in relation to agricultural revenue, the study provides a map of suitable areas of ecosystem service expansion in Eastern Europe.
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Groundwater extraction for agriculture increases salt levels in Spanish coastal wetland
Around 20% of all species found in a Spanish coastal wetland could be affected by increasingly salty water as seawater intrudes into the groundwater system as a result of groundwater being withdrawn to irrigate crops. This is the conclusion of a recent study which used a Life Cycle Impact Assessment approach to characterise the ecological damage in the wetland as a result of changes in groundwater consumption.
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Five years on: changes to vehicle fleets and air quality in London´s low emission zone
Low emission zones (LEZs), which restrict access for high emission vehicles, have proven to be a successful way to improve air quality in line with EU regulations. An analysis of London´s LEZ has revealed discernible reductions in air pollution levels five years after implementation.
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New insight into the complexities of natural pest control
Controlling pests using their natural enemies can be an environmentally sound alternative to pesticides. However, the complex interactions between different pest control species and the landscape itself can affect the efficiency of such biological pest control, research suggests.
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Selection of policy options to encourage take-up of low-carbon transport assessed
A `feebate´ can be an effective policy option to aid the transition to a more environmentally-friendly transport system, a UK study suggests. This combination of fees and rebates can increase the take-up of low-carbon cars, the researchers argue, which leads to reduced life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
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Living walls help cool buildings in hot climates
Covering walls with plants can significantly reduce the temperature of building walls during hot summer months. A recent study of three different types of these `living walls´ in Italy suggests that they can be 20°C cooler than a bare wall on sunny days. An added advantage is that living walls can be retrofitted to existing buildings.
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