10 EU countries violate air emission limits, says EEA

Stockholm  –   Ten European Union (EU) countries, including economic giant, Germany, failed to reduce air pollution under agreed levels in 2014, European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Friday.

Agriculture and road transport were the main sectors linked to the emissions of polluting compounds, the agency said, citing preliminary data for 2014, the most recent year covered in the survey.

The pollutants measured were nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ammonia, and non-methane volatile organic compounds that comprise chemical groups such as alcohols, aldehydes, alkanes and aromatics.

They are sometimes used as solvents or in paints and varnishes.

Nitrogen dioxide, a harmful component of nitrogen oxide, can cause respiratory conditions and cardiovascular disease.

The 28-nation bloc as an entity did not exceed its aggregated emission ceilings for any of the four air pollutants in 2014,” the EEA said.

Germany was the only country to exceed three out of four emission ceilings agreed in 2010 under the EU’s National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive, the report said.

In addition to nitrogen oxides and ammonia, Germany’s emissions of non-methane volatile organic compounds were also too high, the agency added.

The other nine countries that exceeded emission levels for at least one pollutant compound were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain. (dpa/NAN)

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