Environmental issues in Greece

Environmental issues in Greece

This page covers environmental issues in Greece.

Global warming

Researchers have found "for every 10 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/m3) increase in black smoke, they observed a 4 percent increase of CVD deaths" [Chrysohoou, "Air pollution in Athens"] The municipality of Athens produces some 1,200 tons of garbage every day (Attica as a whole is estimated to produce 5,000 tons daily). Of this amount about 40 percent, or 480 tons, is packaging material, of which just 30 tons are recycled at the source near their location of production. The remaining 50 percent is sent to the recycling unit of the Union of Municipalities and Communities, where it is sorted to produce 225 tons of solid fuels, 60 tons of organic fertilizer, 400 kilos of aluminium and 125 tons of useless residue. The other 50 percent of the city’s daily garbage output goes to the saturated dump in Ano Liosia, though the city municipality has announced the large scale purchase of recycling bins for the city. ["Kathimerini", 17/4/07]

Acid rain

Acid rain is a widespread problem throughout the world, which affects not only agricultural aspects of the environment, as well as affecting the health of Greece's lakes, but also man-made buildings too. Acid rain has had a detrimental effect upon the Parthenon and other Ancient Monuments in Athens though a partial reconstruction process has been underway for some time now.


In the summer of 2007 Greece suffered heavily from arson induced forest fires which stripped the country of a significant proportion of its forests.

Current policies

Greece is a signatory member of the Kyoto Protocol but there has been much sharp criticism from the failure to meet their intended targets for cutting carbon emissions, many have claimed that policies have not been tough enough and the protocol has not been implemented in full owing to large business interests, though the Government denies this. The Government has also attracted sharp criticism about its waste management plans, as has the Mayor of Athens, though there are plans for new plants to be built to deal with the surplus of waste the city has. However, spatial planning is being promoted for the protection of resources from exhaustion, destruction and pollution and is part of a wider Government plan addressing Environmental issues. The Athens Metro has also relieved some pressure in terms of car pollution in Athens and the planned Thessaloniki Metro will undoubtedly help the situation there too. The municipality of Athens has also announced a plan to deal with pollution in the city, though the exact details are as yet unknown.

ee also

*List of environmental issues


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