Italy Environment - 2021


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Environment - current issues

air pollution from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide; coastal and inland rivers polluted from industrial and agricultural effluents; acid rain damaging lakes; inadequate industrial waste treatment and disposal facilities

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 15.28 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 41.3 megatons (2020 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 9.488 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 7.7 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 17 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

191.3 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


predominantly Mediterranean; alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

Land use

agricultural land: 47.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 22.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 8.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 15.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 31.4% (2018 est.)

other: 21.5% (2018 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

forest revenues: 0.01% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 151

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 117


urban population: 71.3% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.27% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major infectious diseases

respiratory diseases: Covid-19 (see note) (2020)

note: a new coronavirus is causing  respiratory illness (COVID-19) in Italy; illness with this virus has ranged from mild to severe with fatalities reported; as of 19 July 2021, Italy has reported a total of 4,289,528  cases of COVID-19 or 7,192.19 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with 214.4 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population; as of 19 July 2021, 60.61% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine; the US Department of Homeland Security has issued instructions requiring US passengers who have been in Italy to travel through select airports where the US Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 29.524 million tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 7,646,716 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 25.9% (2015 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Italy on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Italy 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Italy 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.