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close this bookHealth and Environment in Sustainable Development - Five years after the Earth Summit (WHO, 1997, 258 pages)
close this folderChapter 3: Major human activities affecting environmental quality
close this folder3.5 Industrialization: improved prospects and adverse consequences
View the document(introductory text...)
View the document3.5.1 Emissions, waste and natural resource use
View the document3.5.2 Industrial accidents and health-and-environment impacts
View the document3.5.3 Industrial activity trends
View the document3.5.4 Industry and sustainable development: evolving together

3.5.3 Industrial activity trends

Trends in industrial production can be measured in terms of manufacturing value added (MVA) (see glossary), which quantifies the actual industrial input into a country's economy. The MVA share of global gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at 22% for 1994 (UNIDO, 1995).

During 1970-1995, industrial production continued to increase in all regions other than the countries of Eastern Europe and the former USSR (Table 3.12). But in almost all regions, annual growth rates were higher between 1970 and 1980, than between 1980 and 1990, or between 1990 and 1995. In fact, the annual growth rate decreased substantially in Eastern Europe and the former USSR in the 1990s. Conversely, a noticeable increase was observed in China.

During 1990-1995, the fastest growing industries were plastic products (3.16% annual growth rate), tobacco manufacturing (3.14%), professional and scientific goods (2.76%) and other chemical products (2.76%) (Table 3.13). However, machinery (electronic and non-electronic), transport equipment and chemicals dominate world manufacturing. Industries of major importance in terms of environmental impacts (industrial chemicals, petroleum refineries, and iron and steel and non-ferrous metal production) experienced slow or no growth during 1990-1995 (UNIDO, 1995).