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European Environment Agency's Report on Air Pollution
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European Environment Agency's Report on Air Pollution

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Air pollution from the 10,000 largest polluting facilities in Europe cost citizens up to 170 billion Euro in 2009, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which analysed the costs of harm to health and the environment caused by air pollution.

This European Environment Agency report assesses the damage costs to health and the environment resulting from pollutants emitted from industrial facilities. It is based on the latest information, namely for 2009, publicly available through the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR, 2011) in line with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Aarhus Convention regarding access to environmental information. 

Half of the total damage cost (between €51 and 85 billion) was caused by just 191 facilities.

The report, 'Revealing the costs of air pollution from industrial facilities in Europe', provides a list of the individual facilities that contribute the most harm.

“Our analysis reveals the high cost caused by pollution from power stations and other large industrial plants,” Professor Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director, said.

“The estimated costs are calculated using the emissions reported by the facilities themselves. By using existing tools employed by policy-makers to estimate harm to health and the environment, we revealed some of the hidden costs of pollution. We cannot afford to ignore these issues,” added Professor McGlade.

The industrial facilities covered by the analysis include large power plants, refineries, manufacturing combustion and industrial processes, waste and certain agricultural activities. Emissions from power plants contributed the largest share of the damage costs (estimated at €66–112 billion).

Other significant contributions to the overall damage costs came from production processes (€23–28 billion) and manufacturing combustion (€8–21 billion). Sectors excluded from the EEA analysis include transport, households and most agicultural activities, if these were included the cost of pollution would be even higher.











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