ENVIRONMENTAL statistics are usually harbingers of bad news, so it is refreshing to hear of some positive numbers in the field via the EU's statistical agency Eurostat's recent report 'gaining better knowledge of the pressures on our environment.'

It states that although petrol and diesel consumption rose by 45 per cent in the European Union between 1985 and 1998, technological improvements meant pollution by emissions such as nitrogen oxide actually fell during this time.

Between 1980 and 1998, the EU witnessed a 25 per cent ...

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