European air quality improving

The downward trend of air pollutants has continued, according to the latest figures from the European Environment Agency.

The largest member states are still responsible for the most air pollution, with France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom contributing the highest amounts of emissions.

The most recent figures released this week by the agency found emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a seriously health-damaging pollutant, have decreased by 2% compared to the previous year and by about 12% since the year 2000.

Although, the report did say reporting of PM emissions from member states is ‘less complete’ than for the other pollutants.

The report also listed the top polluting sources in the European Union (EU) as fuel combustion in households, cars, heavy duty vehicles and power plants.

While vehicle pollution continues to rise, the agency welcomed the fact power plants producing heat and electricity have reduced emissions significantly since 1990 by ‘improving abatement equipment, switching to cleaner fuels and through improved energy efficiency’.

Luke Walsh

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