Environmental quality improves reflecting the impact of the declining economic activity and favourable structural changes
20 December 2013
In 2012, the quality of the environment has improved in a context marked by the contraction in economic activity. A better environment was the result of lower greenhouse gases emissions, lower primary energy consumption, reduced fuel consumption in road transport and a decrease of municipal waste generation (-7.2% in 2012).
At the same time, structural changes have occurred and contributed for a better quality of the environment, namely the increasing contribution of renewable endogenous energy sources for electricity production, less waste generation and an increase of organic recovery of biodegradable waste.
Given the situation, it is fair to conclude on a decoupling of economy and environment, due to a broaden improvement in a significant number of environmental indicators regardless of the expected impact from the declining of the economic activity.
If, on one hand, the socioeconomic context softens the burden on the environment, on the other hand it also has negative effects as it narrows the awareness of society on issues such as environmental sustainability and gathering of resources supporting environmental policies. Expenses on environmental activities have reduced, in particular a decrease of the investment in equipments and facilities for environment protection (-34.4%).