Spain’s coastal woes head north

LAST UPDATED: 16 Jul, 2008 @ 16:04
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Ria de ElnosaNOW it is the turn of Green Spain to feel the full weight of cement.

According to Greenpeace’s annual coastal report the Basque Country, Asturias and Galicia have “begun to imitate the development model of the Mediterranean”.

While the Destruction at all Coasts report claims that Andalucia, Valencia and Murcia are the worst damaged, the northern regions are catching up.

In a new map of 105 pollution black spots in Spain Galicia gets 19 points, one more than Andalucia with 18.

Other parts of the north coast are under increasing pressure of development, with Asturias getting six points, while Cantabria and the Basque Country, get five each.

The report is based on existing information on pollution, as well as over development.

It claims that Spain is building three times as many homes as it needs.

“Spain needs 300,000 homes annually, while over the last four years that figure has been nearer 800,000 homes,” said spokesman Pilar Marcos.

“Meanwhile Andalucia carries on selling out due to the pressure of tourism.”

In particular the group is concerned about the so-called proliferation of marinas around the country, which are a good excuse to build more homes.

“In 2008 alone 137 new marina projects were put forward for planning permission.”

The report added that Prime Minister Zapatero’s new government had led to “an abandonment of the environment”.

It also revealed that air pollution in Spain causes 16,000 premature deaths a year, which is ten times higher than the annual fatality rate in traffic accidents.

Up to four million Spanish workers are exposed to cancerous substances while an estimated 4,000 people die every year from exposure to chemical substances.

The most polluted place in Spain “as well as the world” is the petrochemical area of Huelva.

Greenpeace insisted that a pollution control agency needs to be set up to ensure that European legislation on waste disposal into the seas is met.

It pointed out that currently there were 67 cases of urban corruption pending against 527 individuals, of which 180 were council employees.

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  1. The sure way to slow growth in construction is for
    the Spanish government to pass laws that require
    all construction to be carbon neutral. There is no
    point in northern Europe going totally ‘eco’, if
    second homes for tourists are slapped up with min-
    imum specification for energy use.It is just a case of having political will and leadership, but
    brings with it the difficult tag of lower employment, and retraining of the work force to
    design and build appropriately. The lure to make
    easy money will be eclipsed by the pleasure of
    designing and building structures that really work and save you money, albeit in the long run.My
    house costs virtually zero to live in, and when it
    is running off all solar power, will just use the
    gas stove for cooking. What about it Snr.Jose Luis
    Rodrigues Zapateiro?

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