Recession linked to reduction in European transport pollution
The European Environment Agency says pollution from transport fell across Europe in 2009 – but may only be temporary due to the economic downturn.
"Emissions levels of almost all pollutants from transport fell in 2009, as there was a drop in demand," said EEA executive director, Prof Jacqueline McGlade. "But this fall was due to the economic recession. So now we need to see a more fundamental shift in Europe's transport system, so that emissions do not increase even in times of strong economic growth."
Efficiency gains have seen new cars built in 2010 become approximately one-fifth more efficient than in 2000. However, these gains are often being outpaced by growing demand. Between 1990 and 2009, demand for transport grew by approximately one-third, leading to a 27% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from transport in the same period.
The report also found that air quality objectives were being exceeded in many areas. For nitrogen dioxide, which can cause respiratory problems, the annual limit values were exceeded at 41% of traffic monitoring stations in 2009. And the daily limit value for particulate matter (PM10) from transport, which causes serious health problems, was broken at 30% of the traffic sites across Europe.
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I don't see a problem, other than using EU and strong economic growth does seem a bit of an oxymoron!
I was surprised that emission limits were exceeded though, as I am aware of at least three emission checks by our Govts over the years where it was stated categorically that emission limits were not exceeded. (North Circular Road through Neasden, North Circular Road/Harrow Road junction, and M25.) Of course, these tests were carried out on a 'health' basis before 'Green Taxes' started to creep in.