Friday, December 09, 2011

Revealing the costs of Air Pollution from Industrial Facilities in Europe

From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

Link to the report after my comments..

On page 18, they say "One data point from the E-PRTR database was corrected prior to analysis as it appeared to have been reported incorrectly by three orders of magnitude when compared to the reported emissions of the other pollutants from the facility. This was the value for SOx emissions from the 'Teplárna Strakonice' plant (facility ID 14301) in the Czech Republic for which the reported estimate of 1 250 000 tonnes of SOx was taken to be 1 250 tonnes."

The same page also has Table 2.1 giving a figure "42 568 284 670" for "Aggregated national total emissions (tonnes)" - presumably for the 30-odd countries covered by the report.

This 42.6 billion tonne CO2 estimate is about 27% higher than the 33.4 billion tons of WORLDWIDE CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in 2010 (Link).

Yes, EEA says they count biomass CO2 as well, but surely these facilities don't burn whole forests down every year.

Looks like EEA is sensitive about some orders of magnitude, not all.

Also, these are not "costs" in the sense of having been expended. They are "imputed" costs. Mostly in terms of health damages, but in the case of CO2, on "marginal abatement costs", which are debatable. In any case, there is very little evidence that CO2 is a health pollutant (except in heavily congested closed rooms).

Excluding CO2, seems like they would impute a cost less than ~$200 per capita per year or less than 1% of GDP. Another way of looking at it is that the actual health expenditures are perhaps in the range of $500-1,500 depending on the country, all diseases and health conditions included, so putting out an imputed cost that is 10-20% of the total health budget is largely an arithmetical exercise.

Read the full press release

Air pollution from the 10,000 largest polluting facilities in Europe cost citizens between € 102 and 169 billion in 2009. This was one of the findings of a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which analysed the costs of harm to health and the environment caused by air pollution. Half of the total damage cost (between € 51 and 85 billion) was caused by just 191 facilities.

Key Findings
  • Air pollution by the facilities covered by EEA’s analysis cost every European citizen approximately € 200-330 on average in 2009.
  • Countries such as Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, where a high number of large facilities are located, contribute the most to the total damage costs. However, when damage costs are weighted in an attempt to reflect the productivity of national economies, the ordering of countries changes significantly. The emissions from countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic are then relatively more important with regard to the damage costs.
  • A small number of individual facilities cause the majority of damage costs. Three quarters of the total damage costs were caused by the emissions from just 622 industrial facilities – 6 % of the total number. The facilities with emissions associated with a high damage cost are in most cases some of the largest facilities in Europe which release the greatest amount of pollutants.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions contribute the most to the overall damage costs, approximately €63 billion in 2009. Air pollutants, which contribute to acid rain and can cause respiratory problems - sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3), particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) - were found to cause €38-105 billion of damage a year.
Read the full report
Revealing the costs of air pollution from industrial facilities in Europe

Other news and articles on impacts of air pollution

No comments: