Europe's environmental balance sheet

Published: Thursday 15 November 2007

Down to Earth Pollution kills Europeans than any other factor does. Poor air quality affects crops, ecosystem and children's health; threatens some 700 European species including iconic species such as the Iberian lynx and the snow leopard. Particulate matter and ground-level ozone caused 380,000 premature deaths in 2000

Down to Earth Most air pollutants have increased in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (eecca) region by more than 10 per cent since 2000 due to economic growth, increase in vehicles and the lack of effective anti-pollution policies

Down to Earth In the European Union production of toxic chemicals has increased at almost the same rate as total chemical production; both have grown faster than the gdp of the region

Down to EarthDown to Earth Added pressure on the environment from agriculture, tourism, and transport reduces average life expectancy by at least a year in Western and Central Europe (wce)

Down to Earth The impacts of tourism are projected to grow as a result of increasing affluence and lifestyle and demographic changes. Impacts: 100 major floods in past five years; water stress for a third of Europe; high energy consumption, more greenhouse gas emissions; over 100 million people without access to safe drinking water and sanitation

Down to Earth Many countries in eecca and Southeast Europe (see) have low-quality water supply and poor sanitation over the past 15 years. The rural population is most affected

Down to Earth Over-fishing and eutrophication--excessive nutrients in water body--pressuring coastal environment. So does oil discharge from day-to-day activities

Down to EarthDown to Earth Environmental policy across Europe is hampered by gaps in information and implementation

Down to Earth Environmental policies need clear, realistic targets and a shared environmental information system across pan Europe

Source: Europe's environment-The fourth assessment; by the European Environment Agency, Belgrade 2007

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