By Kevin Hillstrom

A concise but thorough evaluate of the environmental matters, difficulties, and controversies dealing with the world's such a lot densely populated continent―Europe.

• attention-grabbing sidebar articles, tables and figures, and photographs

• review maps of the continent and an inventory of environment-related enterprises at the Internet

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Extra info for Europe: a continental overview of environmental issues

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Reducing Municipal Waste One focus of Western Europe’s efforts to institute environmentally sustainable ways of living has been in the realm of municipal waste, with particular emphasis on reducing the total volume of waste and safely treating the waste that is produced. ). But Western Europe has made some notable gains in recycling in the last two decades. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average recycling rate for paper and glass products rose in striking fashion 14 EUROPE The Aalborg Charter: European Cities and Towns Working toward Sustainability The Charter of European Cities and Towns Toward Sustainability (commonly known as the Aalborg Charter) is one of the continent’s most important efforts toward attaining environmental sustainability.

Ever-growing levels of tourism inevitably lead to increased pressure to convert previously undisturbed landscapes—which often serve as essential habitat for local flora and fauna—to human use. Tourism also accounts for fully half of the energy used in passenger transport, and various elements of tourism infrastructure—resorts, hotels, and the like—significantly increase the amount of greenhouse gases generated in Europe. 3 Total International Inbound Tourism in Europe 300 250 million tourists Central Europe 200 Northern Europe 150 Southern Europe 100 SOURCE: World Tourism Organization 19 98 19 96 19 94 19 92 0 19 9 19 85 19 8 0 50 Population and Land Use 27 as much as 7 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to tourism, in large part because 80 percent of domestic tourist travel is by private automobile.

According to the EEA, more than 60 percent of total tourist movement (domestic and international) on the continent is by motorway, including almost 40 percent of international trips. “Car travel for tourism has advantages such as lower costs and a high degree of freedom. 2 Growth in Number of Vehicles in Europe, 1980–1996 493 500 450 1980 1990 1996 423 vehicles/1,000 people 400 350 332 300 250 200 168 150 100 131 124 63 62 50 0 Central Europe Eastern Europe Western Europe SOURCE: Compiled by UNEP GRID Geneva from International Road Federation 1997.

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