Environment at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators


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This book offers a comprehensive snapshot of key environmental trends in OECD member countries since the early 1990s. It is organised by issues such as:

  • climate change
  • air pollution
  • biodiversity and water resources
  • waste

The report reveals big differences in environmental trends in different countries. It confirms that much more needs to be done to break the link between economic growth and environmental damage, and to safeguard the natural resource base on which economic activity and human welfare depends.

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1. Environmental trends

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions   Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions   Sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions   Particulate emissions and population exposure
Emission intensities per unit of GDP and per capita are decreasing in most OECD countries, though decoupling remains weak. Many countries have not succeeded in meeting their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. >> Read more.   In OECD Europe, CO2 emissions from energy use have stayed more or less stable due to changes in economic structures and the energy supply mix, energy savings and implementation of policies. >> Read more.   Emission intensities per capita and per unit of GDP show significant variations among OECD countries. Two-thirds of the countries have achieved a strong decoupling from economic growth since the 1990s. >> Read more.   Some groups of the population are especially vulnerable to air pollution. The very young and the very old are more at risk than the remainder of the population. >> Read more.
Use of freshwater resources   Wastewater treatment   Biological diversity   Use of forest resources

The use of irrigation water in the OECD area slightly declined compared to agricultural production, but in about half of the OECD countries agricultural water use increased driven by expansion in the irrigated area. >> Read more.


In recent decades, OECD countries have been progressing with basic domestic water pollution abatement and with sewerage and wastewater treatment infrastructure. >> Read more.


Total OECD terrestrial and marine protected areas reach about 11% of the total area and territorial sea. The areas protected vary among OECD countries and are not always representative of national biodiversity, nor sufficiently connected. >> Read more.


Forests and wooded land has remained stable or has slightly increased in most OECD countries, but it has been decreasing at world level due in part to continued deforestation in tropical countries, to provide land for agri- culture, grazing and logging. >> Read more.

    Use of fish resources   Municipal waste    



The proportion of moderately exploited or underexploited fish stocks is 13%. More than half of all stocks (57%) are fully exploited, producing catches at or close to their maximum sustainable limits. >> Read more.


Over the last two decades, OECD countries have put significant efforts into curbing municipal solid waste generation. More and more waste is being diverted from landfills and incinerators and fed back into the economy through ecycling. >> Read more.




2. Sectoral trends of environmental significance

Energy intensity and mix While OECD countries are still more than 80% reliant on fossil fuels, the shares of solid fuels and oil fell, while those of gas and other energy sources rose.
Energy prices and taxes Care should be taken when comparing end-use energy prices, and the way that energy use is taxed. In view of the large number of factors involved, direct comparisons may be misleading.
Road traffic, vehicles and networks Countries’ efforts in introducing cleaner vehicles have been offset by growth in vehicle numbers and the increased scale of their use.
Road fuel prices The use of taxation to influence energy consumer behaviour and to internalise environmental costs is increasing in OECD countries.
Agricultural nutrient balances For many OECD countries, fertiliser consumption and nutrient surpluses relative to changes in agricultural output declined, both in absolute tonnes of nutrients and in terms of nutrient surpluses per hectare of agricultural land.
GDP, population and consumption The comparability of population and GDP estimates across countries is good. However, some care is needed in interpretation, for example Luxembourg and, to a lesser extent, Switzerland have a relatively large number of frontier workers.


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Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Administered Areas
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe