Feel-good factor in latest Danish indicators

Air pollutants, water consumption, nitrogen discharges all on steep downward trend, says report

A new survey by Denmark's national statistics office (DST) identifies encouraging trends in a wide range of environmental indicators over the past 12 years. "Even if the Danes use more energy and drive more cars than in 1990... we are polluting less now than we did then," DST says in a statement announcing the publication of its 160-page "Environment 2000" report.

Domestic water consumption has fallen by a quarter since 1990. Power stations, many of which have switched from coal to natural gas, have reduced sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 90%, nitrogen oxides by half and carbon dioxide by 25%. Nitrogen discharges from sewerage works are down by 75% and organic wastes by 90%. In the agricultural sector, the use of nitrogen-based commercial fertilisers has fallen by a third and sales of insecticides by half. Road traffic emissions of SO2 are a tenth of 1990 levels, and carbon monoxide about half.

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