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€169 Billion: The Cost of Industrial Air Pollution to Europe in 2009

The financial costs of air pollution and global warming is not often reported by mainstream media stations, but maybe we should be made more aware of them, as a 2011 report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) titled “Revealing the costs of air pollution from industrial facilities in Europe” shows that it is no small issue.

The study carried out an analysis of the financial costs of managing the effects of industrial air pollution on human health and the environment in 2009. It looked at the 10,000 largest polluting facilities in Europe, which included large power plants, refineries, manufacturing combustion and industrial processes, waste, and some agricultural activities.

In a shocking summary it found that industrial air pollution cost Europe up to €169 billion for the year.

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

Carbon dioxide (CO2) on its own was culpable for the largest proportion of the costs, but other pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ammonia combined to incur a cost of €38 - €105 billion

An estimated €51 - €85 billion (half) of the costs was caused by just 191 of the facilities. The total environmental damage cost each European citizen €200-330.

Here is a list, from the report, of the facilities that caused the most harm. http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/cost-of-air-pollution/spreadsheet

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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