The use of emission control techniques would result in significant health benefits across Europe, says study
The use of up-to-date emission control techniques in European power plants would drastically reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and result in very significant health benefits across Europe, according to a new study.
Application of advanced emission control technologies to the 100 most polluting plants in the EU could reduce annual emissions of SO2 and NOx by approximately 3.4 and 1.1 million tonnes respectively (as compared to 2004 levels of emissions). This would cut total EU emissions of SO2 by approximately 40% and emissions of NOx by 10%, said the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).
The EEB said in a release: ‘Such cuts in SO2 and NOx emission would in addition bring many other benefits that have not been quantified in monetary terms, including less damage to ecosystems and biodiversity through acidification, eutrophication and ground level ozone, and reduced rates of corrosion and weathering of buildings, materials and cultural monuments.’
‘Clearly the costs of cutting emissions from large combustion plants are significantly less than the economic benefits of improved health’, said Christer Ågren, director of the Swedish NGO Secretariat on Acid Rain.
“Clearly the costs of cutting emissions from large combustion plants are significantly less than the economic benefits of improved health.
Christer Ãƒgren, director of the Swedish NGO Secretariat on Acid Rain
‘Setting strict mandatory emission limit values for existing large combustion plants would help ensure that the oldest, least efficient, and dirtiest coal-fired plants would be shut down – a win-win solution that will cut emissions of both traditional air pollutants and greenhouse gases.’
Emissions from large industrial point sources are currently regulated by the EU directives on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) and Large Combustion Plants (LCP). In December 2007 the European Commission presented proposed draft legislation to revise these directives.
‘The findings of this study are important for current debates in the European Parliament on regulating industrial emissions’, said Dragomira Raeva, Air Pollution Officer at the European Environmental Bureau. ‘We think these are solid reasons for the European Parliament to strengthen emission limits in the IPPC directive’.