Environment Commissioner urges member states to do more to tackle industrial pollution

Emissions of certain industrial pollutants in the European Union are still increasing, according to a review by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency.

The second European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER) review confirms last year's preliminary assessment (IP/06/1618). This second report marks the first comprehensive report of emissions data for industrial pollutants in 25 EU Member States and Norway.

The review reveals that about two-thirds of the 50 air and water industrial pollutants have been decreasing. These include nitrogen pollutants released into water bodies (-14.5%), the various types of phosphorus (-12%), and the emissions of dioxins/furans (-22.5%) into the atmosphere.

“This report shows that Member States need to do more to combat industrial pollution

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas

However, an upward trend can be observed in emissions of certain pollutants, such as carbon dioxide which increased by 5.7% between 2001 and 2004. In 2004, key tools to control carbon dioxide emissions such as the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) were not yet in place.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: “I am encouraged by the efforts made by Member States to report their emissions on time. This is important in that the EPER review is a valuable analysis of industrial pollution data and serves as an important policy-making tool in the field of pollution prevention and control. However, this report shows that Member States need to do more to combat industrial pollution."