The EU directives indicate their maximum levels in order to control the air quality in the member states. Which area do they cover? What are the specific standards imposed by the European Parliament on the countries that belong to the community? You’ll find the answers below.
The European Union is quite strict when it comes to the emissions of polluting gases and particulate matter. In the past decade, laws regarding pollution levels have been continuously introduced in order to fight the ascending problem of air pollution.
Do The Member States Have Any Autonomy Regarding The Control Of Emissions?
It’s worth noting that the directives leave some flexibility for the member states. In the end, they decide what actions to follow and what laws to introduce in order to keep the problem under control. The countries also establish their own standards when it comes to air pollution, deciding when to inform the citizens about the potential danger. That generates noticeable dissonance between the approaches of the particular regions of the EU. For example, in Poland, the maximum permitted levels of PM concentration in the air are even two times higher than in France or Germany.
However, the directives make it impossible to sweep the air pollution problem under the carpet. The emissions are the subject of control – via periodic inspections and so on. Most of them were introduced in the first decade of the second millennium. Are they effective in the long run? You can check it by comparing the data through the air pollution map – for example, Airly.org.
Now, let’s take a closer look at them to check what areas do they cover.
U Directives In Terms Of Reducing The Air Emissions
The directives issued by the European Parliament define standards for various types of pollutants. It regulates the issues of:
- industrial emissions
- the quality of petrol and diesel used in vehicles, agricultural and construction machines
- energy performance of the buildings
- the efficiency energy end-use and energy services
- waste burning
- emissions of volatile organic compounds through the use of organic solvents in certain paints and varnishes and vehicle refinishing products
The newest directive from 2009 doesn’t set up standards for the activities tied to the emissions but specifies guidelines for promoting renewable energy use. The aim is not only to reduce the air pollution problem but also to act against climate change. As a result of this directive, many countries which haven’t been investing in alternative energy decided to change their approach. Poland is a good example. Its subsidy programs (particularly “Mój Prąd”) were successful at promoting renewable sources. As a result, the sales of solar panels and other alternative systems have skyrocketed.
Even though the directives exist, the countries can still state their own air pollution norms. As a result, the citizens have to monitor the air quality through the air pollution maps in order to have the situation under control. Also, there are emulators that enable falsifying the levels of pollutants in the exhaust fumes.
Are you searching for a tool that will allow you to check the air pollution levels anytime? Use Airly air pollution map, updated in real-time.