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Key trends and other statistics on the environment over recent years ...
Key trends and other statistics on the environment over recent years

are presented for easy accessibility in the latest edition of the

booklet, The Environment in your Pocket 2003, published today the by

the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The

Environment in your Pocket includes more than 50 key data series

covering: the global atmosphere, air quality, inland water quality

and use, coastal and marine waters, radioactivity, noise, waste and

recycling, land use and land cover, and wildlife. Also contained are

some general background series including analyses of linkages between

indicators on the economy, transport, energy use, and emissions of

pollutants and agricultural productivity and the environment.

Included among the key series are all the environmental headline

indicators of sustainable development.

Some illustrative extracts:

- Of the 26 million tonnes of waste collected by local authorities

from households in England during 2001/2, over 12 per cent was

recycled or composted;

- Total EU emissions of greenhouse gases fell by 2-1/2 per cent

between 1990 and 2001 against a target set under the Kyoto Protocol

of a reduction of 8 per cent by 2008-2012;

- 2002 was the second warmest year since global records began in

1860, and 9 of the 10 warmest years recorded have been since 1990;

- The climate of England and Wales in the last 30 years shows a

tendency for milder, wetter winters and warmer, drier summers;

- UK emissions of all the main air pollutants have fallen since 1980;

- 98 per cent of UK bathing waters met the mandatory standard set by

the EU bathing Water Directive in 2003 and 74 per cent met the more

stringent guideline standard;

- 29 per cent of reported fish stocks around the UK were within safe

biological limits (to allow a good probability of stock

replenishment) in 2001;

- Radioactive emissions to the air in the UK fell by around 60 per

cent between 1985 and 2001 and emissions to water fell by 79 per


- 64 per cent of new homes in England were built on previously

developed 'brownfield' sites in 2002;

- Almost 1 million hectares of land in England - nearly 10 per cent

of the total agricultural area - were farmed under the two main

agri-environmental schemes, the Environmentally Sensitive Areas

scheme and Countryside Stewardship Scheme, in 2002;

- Between 1990 and 2001 road traffic increased by 16 per cent and CO2

emissions from road transport increased by 11 per cent; in the same

period emissions from road transport of nitrogen oxides and

particulates declined by 40 per cent;

- An estimated £3.9bn was spent by UK industry to reduce environmental

pollution in 2001.

The Environment in your Pocket 2003 is not just for the pocket, it is

also published herewhere it is linked to more

detailed information on the topics it covers. This detailed information

is in the department's main compendium reference web publication for

environmental statistics,

the e-Digest of environmental statistics . The

e-Digest website is updated periodically as new data become available

throughout the year.


1. The Environment in your Pocket 2003 presents around 50 of the key

data series from the e-Digest of Environmental Statistics and focuses

on providing trends over time, including on performance against

quantified targets and commitments set at the national and

international level. The 2003 edition is the seventh annual edition.

2. It includes all the environmental indicators from the set of

headline indicators of sustainable development.

3. It is intended to provide an accessible, pocket-sized reference

booklet that will be particularly useful for ministers and officials

across government, for students studying environmental topics and for

members of the public with a general interest in environmental

issues. This year as well as the usual pocket-sized version a larger,

A4 sized version will be published, containing the same information

but in larger print.

4. The e-Digest of Environmental Statistics, from which the key

series in the Environment in your Pocket are drawn, continues to be

the Department for Environment, Food and the Rural Affairs' annual

reference site for environmental data. It provides a useful tool to

assist informed discussion of environmental policies and developments

both in the UK and in the international arena.

5. Many of the statistics presented are already available elsewhere,

but the e-Digest brings together a wide range of environmental topics

to provide a handy source of reference. It focuses on key trends over

time, on geographical variation and on performance in relation to

national targets and commitments, including those agreed


6. As a National Statistics publication, it seeks to be as objective

as possible, presenting a balanced picture and using commentary and

footnotes to tables to help the reader interpret the statistics and

understand their provenance and reliability. References are included

in each chapter to point the reader to more detailed sources of the

statistics presented.

7. Details of the government's headline indicators of sustainable

development can be accessed on the Sustainable Development website.

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