Europe has a distinguished history of environmental research and hosts many of the world’s leading researchers in the environmental field. Environmental concerns have been on the policy agenda since the European Comunities were created in 1957. The International Geophysical Year (IGY) was launched in the same year as a first attempt to coordinate global measurements of the Earth, the oceans, the atmosphere and the sun. It also pointed out for the first time that carbon dioxide was building up in the atmosphere. The decades since then have witnessed increasing public concern about our environment and the damage being done to it, alongside greater research efforts to increase knowledge and find solutions.