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Human Activities - An Overview

Jan 16

Pressures on the environment are caused by human activities. This section examines eight major industries and provides an outline of their environmental consequences. perspectives, as well as the factors that drive them.



On a local and pan-European basis, examines energy-related activities at three stages: primary energy generation, derived energy conversion (electricity and heat), and end-use. The effects of fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable energy on the environment are discussed briefly. The factors that will influence future energy usage and changes will be discussed.

  • Since the 1970s crises, the use of energy and GDP have been separated.
  • Europe spends 41% on industry, 22% on transportation, and 37% on home and commercial activities.
  • Energy consumption is to blame for air pollution, acidification, tropospheric ozone, climate change, and a slew of other local effects on water, soil, and land in Western Europe.



Presents an overview of pan-European industry's environmental effect, highlighting disparities throughout Europe. The importance of industry as a whole in terms of emissions, waste creation, and natural resource usage is reviewed, and an assessment of various industrial sectors' 'environmental performance' is made. It's also looked at how corporate practices have altered in response to environmental issues. There is a scarcity of industrial data that may be linked to environmental damage. International sources, as well as national and state-of-the-environment studies for individual industries, provide statistics on production and energy use.

  • Between 1980 and 1989, the chemical sector reduced its energy use per unit of production by 30%.
  • The chemical, pulp and paper, cement, steel, and nonferrous metal sectors have the worst environmental consequences.
  • In 1990, industry released 25% of SO2 and 14% of nitrogen oxides (20 countries).
  • All emissions from industrial facilities are on the decline.



Examines the environmental effects of transportation and offers an overview of the pan-European transportation issue, including regional variances. The effects of transportation trends on the environment, as well as certain underlying drivers, are investigated. The future of transportation in Europe is also evaluated. The primary data sources are the European Conference of Ministers for Transport (ECMT), Eurostat, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). To illustrate, we used data from the scientific literature.

  • Between 1970 and 1990, private automobile ownership in Western Europe quadrupled, accounting for 25% of energy-related CO2 emissions, with road travel accounting for 80% of the total. Total pollution emissions are expected to rise in the coming years, despite lower emissions per vehicle.
  • Landuse is becoming increasingly fragmented as a result of transportation infrastructure.
  • More than one million individuals have perished in road traffic accidents in the EU alone during the last 20 years.


Analyzes the changes in agricultural organization and practice that have occurred in response to demand, as well as the possible environmental effects of agriculture. Although there is a wealth of information available at the national level, particularly in the] and EFTA countries, the majority of it is focused on production, employment structure, fertilizer and pesticide use, livestock demographics, and farm sizes; few studies look at the size and contribution of agricultural production and changes in agricultural systems to environmental impacts.

  • Agriculture takes up 42% of the total land area in Europe. While the role of agriculture in the economy is dwindling in Western Europe, production and labor productivity have been consistently increasing.
  • Agriculture not only pollutes water, degrades soil quality, eliminates biodiversity, and alters landscapes, but it is also a victim of environmental deterioration.



The state of Europe's woods and how they are used are investigated. The chapter explains how related activities and behaviors can have an environmental impact and discusses the major driving reasons behind these changes. Traditional forest inventories, as well as qualitative data on particular environmental consequences and non-wood production forestry, were used to compile the data.

Forests now cover 33% of Europe's land area, up 10% in 30 years, with the majority in the south and west, while cover in many eastern countries has remained stable or declined. Since 1965, non-indigenous species have altered the composition of forests, with European wood production up 18% and consumption up 28%.


Aquaculture & Fishing

Review of the nature and significance of fishing's environmental consequences, as well as a pan-European picture of fishing and aquaculture, with regional variations. Existing fishing policies are assessed in terms of their efficacy. The primary data sources are international agencies (FAO and Eurostat), with examples extracted from state-of-the-environment reports and scholarly publications.

  • Fixed and drift nets have an influence on marine mammals including dolphins, monk seals, and probably porpoises and seabirds in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean because fish stocks are overexploited.
  • Aquaculture wastewater pollutes the environment.
  • Exotic species may compete with or displace native species if they are introduced through aquaculture.


Recreational Tourism

The author provides an overview of the situation in Europe in terms of tourism and recreation, with a focus on regional variances. Protected areas, rural zones, mountains, coastal regions, cities and heritage sites, and theme and leisure parks are among the six primary settings where tourism and recreation impacts are evaluated. General trends are shown using World Tourism Organization data, but because tourism statistics do not sufficiently represent the environmental impacts of tourism and leisure, a case-by-case approach utilizing national or local data is used.

Tourism is one of the most important social and economic activities in the EU. Its effects are exacerbated by the concentration of tourist activity into short holiday seasons and relatively small areas. The environmental impacts of skiing are significant, especially in the Alps, which receives 100 million visitors per year. The coastal Mediterranean received 157 million visitors in 1990.



Review of home environmental consequences in terms of resource consumption and emissions, as well as the underlying driving force and potential control strategies. There are no data available that connect homes to the environment. International agencies, such as Eurostat, provide socioeconomic information. To assist give a more full picture, case studies employing national data are employed.

  • In Europe, home consumption accounts for 70% of industrial output, and a rise in the number of households paired with a reduction in their size is driving up resource demand.
  • Each family in western Europe today owns at least one automobile, creating enormous environmental damage.
  • The amount of garbage generated by houses continues to rise, and despite the fact that 50% of household waste may be recycled, only around 10% of it gets collected for recycling.
  • Around 19 percent of total water provided for all purposes is consumed by European homes, and this percentage is growing.