EEA Releases Update of 2010 Report on Consumption and the Environment

EEA14 June 2012: The European Environment Agency (EEA) released an update to its “State and Outlook of the Environment Report 2010” (SOER) which focuses on consumption and the environment. The publication was launched at the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Consumption and Production, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in conjunction with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The update highlights the links between consumption and the environment, finding that eating and drinking, housing and infrastructure, and mobility, resulted in 74% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and 72% of tropospheric ozone precursor emissions in 2007. It finds that while there are some positive trends, the level of damage to the environment caused by material resource use is unsustainable. EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade called for making the difficult changes required to alter harmful patterns of consumption.

The update highlights that recent efficiency gains have been offset by growing consumption, and underscores the need to remove the perverse incentives to consume more, reinforced by many economic systems. It highlights possible solutions such as environmental tax reform, but stresses the required changes in the culture of consumption. [EEA Press Release] [Publication: Consumption and the Environment]