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Assessing the effectiveness of EU policy on large combustion plants in reducing air pollutant emissions 1994-2019 EEA Report No 07/2019

Assessing the effectiveness of EU policy on large combustion plants in reducing air pollutant emissions 1994-2019 EEA Report No 07/2019


Assessing the effectiveness of EU policy on large combustion plants in reducing air pollutant emissions 1994-2019 EEA Report No 07/2019
Autor
Mihai Tomescu and Daniel Martin-Montalvo Alvarez

Editor
European Environment Agency (EEA)

Año: 2019


The Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD) was a core instrument of EU legislation, driving reductions in emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen
oxides (NOx) and dust between 2004 and 2015. It established a solid mechanism to better monitor these emissions through the annual reporting of inventories of emissions and energy input from combustion plants. Studying how and why it worked offers useful insight for policymakers and informs possible avenues for implementation of other environment policies, namely the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).


The significance of large combustion plant (LCP) emissions, in particular those from electricity-generating installations, in total anthropogenic emissions of SO2, NOx and dust, as well as the transboundary nature of their negative impacts, required harmonised pan-European measures to tackle the problem effectively, efficiently and without distorting the internal energy market.

Emissions from large industrial sources remained among the most significant releases of the three abovementioned pollutants in the period studied (2004-2015) and still represent the largest source of such emissions in many European countries. However, during the LCPD time-frame, a very substantial reduction in LCP emissions was achieved, which contributed decisively to overall emission reductions.


Objectives and scope of this report

This report is a retrospective assessment of the European policy on combustion plants, with a focus on the LCPD. While it addresses the five key aspects of a policy evaluation, i.e. relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and European value added, the core of the analysis focuses on effectiveness.

In addition, the report explores the causal association between the observed changes, and the LCPD and broader EU policy landscape, by means of various methods, including a statistical technique known as decomposition analysis.

The scope of the analysis covers:
• all EU Member States (28 at the time of writing (EU-28));
• emissions of SO2, NOx, dust and, to a lesser extent, carbon dioxide (CO2);
• the period between 2004 and 2015.

Within this scope, the purpose of this report is to examine the success level of EU policy on combustion plants in terms of addressing emissions of the three abovementioned pollutants, SO2, NOx, and dust, as well as some other associated benefits, namely those related to reductions in CO2 emissions.


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