environmental crimes rose in 2022 says Legambiente report

Environment News Round-up: 11th July 2023

Environment News

Legambiente reports an increase in environmental crimes in 2022. Eight Italian cities are on red alert due to heatwave. Plus, a report on the 2022 heatwave says 18,000 Italians died as a result.

Crimes against environment increase

There were 30,686 crimes against the environment in Italy in 2022, an increase of 0.3% with respect to the previous year, Legambiente said in its Ecomafia 2023 report.

The environmental association said this worked out at 84 environment crimes a day, or 3.5 an hour.

The biggest category of environmental crime regarded illegal building work. They were 12,216 such felonies last year, 39.8% of the total and a rise of 28.7% on 2021.

Second was crimes against fauna, of which there were 6,481. However, there was some good news as illegal-waste-related crimes dropped 33.8% to 5,606.

The Legambiente report said revenue generated from environmental crime in Italy was stable at €8.8 billion a year.

Furthermore, 67,030 administrative offences were committed against the environment last year, an increase of 13.1% on 2021.

Eight cities on heatwave red alert

Eight major Italian cities are on red alert on Tuesday as the heatwave intensifies.

Bolzano, Florence, Frosinone, Latina, Perugia and Turin have joined Rome and Rieti, which were already on red alert on Monday. Italy is baking in its second heat wave of the summer.

Rome, Rieti, Florence, Frosinone, Latina and Perugia will also be on red alert on Wednesday, as will Bologna.

Red alert means the heat is so intense it poses a threat to healthy, active people. Orange alert, the next level down, indicates the heat is a danger to fragile groups such as the elderly, the clinically vulnerable and very young children.

The current heat wave is forecast to last all week, with temperatures rising above 40° Celsius.

18,000 heatwave deaths in 2022

Over 18,000 people died in Italy due to the intense heat the nation endured last summer, according to a new study.

Coordinated by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and published in the Nature Medicine journal, the study said Italy had the highest heat-related death toll in Europe in the summer of 2022. There was an 18,100 mortality out of a total of 61,672 for the whole continent.

Spain was second with 11,324 deaths followed by Germany with 8,173.

Europe was hit by a series of intense heatwaves last year that led to drought and devastating wildfires.

The study said the average temperature in Europe was about 2° Celsius above the average for the period last summer. In France it was 2.43° above average, while in Italy it was 2.28° higher.

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