Table of Contents

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe

Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale

Measuring Environmental Degradation is a unique book that provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the key issues of environmental significance addressed as part of the Eurostat ‘Environmental Pressure Indicators Project’. The book is part of the ‘Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU’ (TEPI) series that has resulted from the project.

Chapter 5: Introduction

J.F. Feenstra and P.E.M. Lammers

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology


J.F. Feenstra and P.E.M. Lammers 1. THE CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY FIELD Naturally occurring gases (water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone) in the earth’s atmosphere create a (natural) greenhouse effect on the earth, resulting in the earth’s climate as we know it. Increase of the concentrations of these gases results in an enhanced greenhouse effect and thereby changes the earth’s climate. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the atmospheric concentrations of most of the greenhouse gases have increased dramatically and are expected to increase even more in the decades to come. The largest emission sources of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are the combustion of fossil fuels, deforestation and agriculture. Expected impacts of (future) climate change include those on agriculture and food security, coastal zones due to sea-level rise, ecosystems and human health, and water resources and human infrastructure. Policy-makers have started to acknowledge the necessity of adaptation to climate change impacts. The chapters in this part of the volume provide an overview of the main issues related to climate change. Each has been written by a recognized expert (see Introduction to the contributors). 2. RELATIONS TO OTHER POLICY FIELDS The Climate Change policy field is closely related to the policy fields of Ozone Layer Depletion, Air Pollution, Urban Environmental Problems and Loss of Biodiversity. The chapter by Grassl specifically highlights these relationships. The relation with the Ozone Layer Depletion policy field is the most direct of those mentioned above. Ozone is a naturally occurring...