EEA publishes briefing on industrial pollution in Europe

05 October 2021

Article: 55/4006

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a briefing describing the effects of industrial pollution, based on emission data from the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR). The analysis is part of EEA’s ongoing activities to assess the impacts of air pollution in Europe, and shows that, despite significant progress in reducing its environment and climate impacts, the societal costs of industrial air pollution remain high.

The briefing contains several key messages. 

  • Europe’s industry has made significant progress in reducing its environment and climate impacts. However, the societal costs or externalities caused by air pollution from the sector remain high and include damage to human health, ecosystems, infrastructure and the climate. 
  • A small number of industrial facilities are responsible for 50% of the damage caused by air pollution, mostly emitted from within Germany, the UK, Poland, Spain and Italy. When these costs are compared to GDP as an indicator of relative environmental performance per unit of national economic output, the top five comprises Estonia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. 
  • Europe’s Green Deal and zero-pollution targets are an opportunity for change, with industry engaged in the conversation.

Source: EEA, 29 September 2021