All key facts
A list of key facts and key messages about the European environment organised by topics
Water basin management should be more closely integrated with spatial planning. Costs can fall on those who do not benefit – for example, water pollution from agriculture in one territory that flows downstream to others. Also, benefits may go to those outside the territory who have not paid for them. An example of this is forests in one territory that regulate floodwaters in a different territory downstream.
11 countries exceeded the 2010 'ceilings' for the four important air pollutants regulated under the LRTAP Protocol: NOx, NMVOC, SOx and NH. These pollutants can lead to breathing problems, acid rain and eutrophication.
The European economy generates more than five tonnes of waste, including hazardous waste, per inhabitant each year, and each citizen throws on average half a tonne of household waste into the bin.
Europe's economy is heavily dependent on imported raw materials — in 2011 approximately 1 600 million tonnes of raw materials were imported into Europe – that’s about 3.2 tonnes per person. Fuels accounted for most of this amount.
Efficiency measures have successfully reduced key emissions to air caused by household consumption in the EU-27 between 2000 and 2007. However, growing consumption and changes in consumption patterns have partly offset these gains. For example, energy efficiency of housing has improved since 2000, but this trend has been largely offset by an increase in housing space per person.