Air Pollution as a Climate Forcing: A Workshop

Day 3 Presentations

Air Pollution Emission Controls in Europe

Axel Friedrich

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A reduction in regional air pollution in Europe has been achieved during the past decade and it is anticipated that further reductions will be obtained during the next one to two decades. Sample data for the past decade and targets or expectations for the future are illustrated here.

Figure 1 shows the targets for reductions of ozone precursors for the 15 European Union member states for 2010 relative to 1990. The target for overall reduction in the 20-year period is about 50%. As of 1998 an overall reduction of about 20% had been achieved, with results for individual countries ranging from increased precursor emissions in Portugal and Greece to reductions of about 40% in Luxembourg and Germany.

Figure 2 shows measured changes of ozone concentrations in Germany over the period 1980 to 2001 and Figure 3 shows the relative change in the amount of time that specified ozone limits were exceeded. The length of time that ozone limits were exceeded decreased substantially over the past decade. The annual-mean ozone amount did not decrease, although the growth rate did slow to almost zero. Some of the factors that prevented the annual mean ozone from decreasing probably include continued increase of atmospheric methane and increase of ozone precursor emissions in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

Figure 4 shows that NOx emissions in the 15 European Union countries decreased during the past decade. Continued decreases are expected during the next decade, for a total expected decrease since 1990 of about 50%. The largest expected decrease is in road transport.

Figure 5 shows that the concentration of black soot in street canyons decreased by 25-50% in German cities during the past decade. Improved emission controls on road traffic and decreased use of coal are likely contributors to the declining levels of black soot.

Figure 6 illustrates that the gross domestic product of the European Union increased about 20% between 1990 and 1999. Energy use increased about 10% in that period, so energy intensity declined about 10%, reflecting an increase in energy efficiency of about 1% per year. Despite the absolute growth of energy use a decrease of annual CO2 emissions of about 5% was achieved (see Walsh presentation, this volume), mainly as a result of fuel switching, especially reduced coal use, with a smaller contribution from increased use of renewable energies.

Workshop Homepage * Background
Summaries: Overview, Gases, Aerosols, Tech., Health, Agri./Eco.
Abstracts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 * Participants