10 August 2012
Stronger action needed to prevent air pollution
If man-made emissions remain at current levels and air quality legislation is not reinforced, the air quality experienced by the average global citizen in 2050 would be almost as poor as that experienced by the average citizen in East Asia today, according to a new paper.
The paper was a collaborative effort between JRC, the Max Planck Institute, and the UNESCO/IAEA International Centre for Theoretical Physics. It was recently published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
A "business-as-usual" scenario assumed that no additional climate and air pollutant mitigation policies beyond those implemented in 2005 would be put into place.
In the scenario, population and economic growth were considered as the determining factors for energy and food consumption and consequent pollution sources with the current technologies.
The paper argues that if no additional measures are taken this particular scenario will result in an increasing number of people worldwide being affected by extremely reduced air quality.
The authors of the paper highlight the need to implement emission reduction measures through more advanced climate and air pollution policies and legislation, than what is already in place in order to prevent such a tragic scenario from becoming reality.
They refer to the scenario as "representing a pessimistic (but plausible) future."
For instance, current JRC research activities focus on identifying smart strategies for the cost-effective reduction of air pollution by combining air pollution and climate policies.
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