France releases 164,000 t of PM2.5/year

Source : European Environment Agency

In recent years, awareness of air pollution has become a reality.

This press release has an informative purpose necessary for a rapid and collective awareness.

By changing our consumption habits quickly, France could meet the objectives set by the WHO by 2030, which is far from currently being the case.

164,000 tonnes of PM2.5 fine particles released by France in 2017

At the beginning of July, the European Environment Agency released its report on national emissions of PM2.5 fine particles in 2017. France and Italy largely occupy the first two positions with 164,000 tonnes of PM2 fine particles. 5 issued during the year.

With 20 tons emitted less than its two European neighbours, Poland obtains the 3rd most negative assessment of the year. Romania, the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany follow closely with no less than 100,000 tonnes emitted in 2017.

Where do the PM2.5 fine particles that are released come from?

PM2.5 fine particles are largely emitted by the domestic network. In the past, road transport was a major source of CO2 emissions, but the introduction of catalytic converters has reduced these emissions significantly.

While the use of fireworks, tobacco consumption and open fires of green and other waste only represent 2% of household PM2.5 emissions, 43% are due to the combustion of heating appliances: boilers , closed and open fireplaces, stoves, etc., which represents no less than 70,000 tonnes in 2017.

It should be noted that fine particle emissions have fallen significantly since the 1990s, but remain at too high a threshold in terms of health safety for the population.

The other half of PM2.5 fine particle emissions observed during 2017 is shared respectively between manufacturing industry, road transport, waste, energy used in industry and agriculture mainly.

Non-road transport represents only 1.45% of PM2.5 fine particles emitted with 238 tonnes in 2017.

What are the repercussions of air pollution on the population?

In November 2018, the European Environment Agency published its full report entitled "Air Quality in Europe - 2018 report". He then gave a global and precise vision of the effects of air pollution on the European population.

In 2015, PM2.5 fine particles were directly responsible for 35,800 premature deaths , making it the third European country where these particles are the most destructive. With 48,000 premature deaths due to air pollution that year, this represents a total of 80% just for fine particles PM2.5, there is an urgent need to react.

Looking at the European level and the 41 countries concerned by this study, 10% of the people who died were in France.

Very recent studies also tend to prove that these figures have been largely underestimated, going from 48,000 to 67,000 in France. Much more than the estimate of 48,000 deaths adopted for a few years by Public Health France and included in all official communications. Source: The World

Will France honor its PM2.5 emission reduction commitments?

The National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC) sets national emission reduction commitments for Member States and the EU for five significant air pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds ( NMVOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3) and fine particles (PM2.5) . These pollutants contribute to poor air quality, which leads to significant negative impacts on human health and the environment.

A new National Emission Ceilings Directive (2016/2284/EU) entered into force on 31 December 2016. Replacing previous legislation (Directive 2001/81/EC), the new NEC Directive sets emission reduction commitments for 2020 and 2030 for five main air pollutants. The new directive transposes the reduction commitments for 2020 agreed by the EU and its Member States under the 2012 Revised Gothenburg Protocol to the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention).

The 2019 NEC report released on June 28, 2019 tells us two things:

  • To meet EU pollution reduction commitments for 2030, PM2.5 fine particles will need to be reduced by 36% compared to 2017 figures.
  • If it does not make a rapid change, France will be one of the 16 countries of the European Union which will not respect the commitments to reduce emissions of fine particles PM2.5 by 2030.

In 2017, the biggest emitters of PM2.5 were Italy, France and Poland.

Although PM2.5 emissions in the EU have fallen by 28% since 2000, the recent trend is less positive. From 2015 to 2016 emissions only decreased by 1% while between 2016 and 2017 EU emissions of PM2.5 increased by 0.4%.