The objective of this work is to identify and classify the relative importance of several socioeconomic factors which explain life expectancy at birth in the European Union (EU) countries in the period 2008–2017, paying special attention to greenhouse gas emissions and public environmental expenditures. Methods: The Random Forests methodology was employed, which allows classification of the socioeconomic variables considered in the analysis according to their relative importance to explain health outcomes. Results: Per capita income, the educational level of the population, and the variable AREA (which reflects the subdivision of Europe into four relatively homogeneous areas), followed by the public expenditures on environmental and social protection, are the variables with the highest relevance in explaining life expectancy at birth in Europe over the perip.1 he peusto el correo e inciod 2008–2017. Conclusions: We have identified seven sectors as the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions: Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply; manufacturing; transportation and storage; agriculture, forestry, and fishing; construction; wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; and mining and quarrying. Therefore, any public intervention related to environmental policy should be aimed at these economic sectors. Furthermore, it will be more effective to focus on public programs with higher relevance to the health status of the population, such as environmental and social protection expenditures.
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