How Europe is choking itself - and the world

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Europe’s claim to the moral high ground over the environment has been comprehensively challenged in a devastating report on its failings in the battle against global warming and pollution. It says Europe is devouring the world’s natural resources at twice the global rate.

Climate change on a scale unseen on the European continent for 5,000 years is now under way, according to the report, which warned yesterday that at current rates three quarters of Switzerland’s glaciers will have melted by 2050.

Urban areas of Europe will double in size in just over a century, as life expectancy rises and more live alone. Increasing urban sprawl means that in 10 years, an open space in Europe three times the size of Luxembourg has been built on. Air travel is likely to double by 2030 and marine ecosystems, water resources and air quality are all threatened.

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