France emits 164,000 tons of PM2.5

Source : European Environment Agency  

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

This press release is for information purposes only and is necessary to raise awareness quickly and collectively.

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


164,000 tons of fine particulate matter PM2.5 released by France in 2017

At the beginning of July 2017, the European Environment Agency submitted its report on national emissions of fine particulate matter PM2.5. France and Italy are well ahead in the top two positions with 164,000 tons of fine particulate matter PM2.5 emitted during the year.

With 20 tons less emitted than its two European neighbours, Poland has the third most negative balance sheet of the year. Romania, the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany are closely following with no less than 100,000 tons emitted in 2017.


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

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

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

It should be noted that emissions of fine particulate matter have declined significantly since the 1990s, but it still remains at a level that is too high in terms of public health safety.

The other half of the fine particulate matter PM2.5 emissions observed in 2017 is shared respectively between manufacturing industry, road transportation, waste, and energy used in industry and agriculture.

Non-road transportation represents only 1.45% of the fine particles PM2.5 emitted with 238 tons in 2017.

What are the impacts of air pollution on the population ?

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


By 2015, fine particulate matter PM2.5 is directly responsible for 35,800 premature deaths, making France the third most destructive country in Europe. With 48,000 premature deaths caused by 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 covered by this study, 10% of the dead people were killed in France.

Very recent studies also show that these figures have been largely underestimated, rising from 48,000 to 67,000 in France. Much more than the 48,000 deaths estimated by Public Health France in recent years and included in all official communications. Source : Le Monde

Will France meet its commitments to reduce PM2.5 emissions ?

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

A new directive on national emission ceilings (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 2020 reduction commitments agreed by the EU and its Member States under the revised 2012 Gothenburg Protocol under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention).

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

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

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

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

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