Lower air pollution will make people’s lives longer2017-01-18
Similarly to the other EU member states, by 2020 Lithuania has to considerably reduce ambient air pollution, and minimise it even more by 2030. This commitment is set out in the new EU Directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants adopted a month ago.
The target set for our country is to reduce by 2020 emissions of nitrogen oxides by 48% compared with 2005, sulphur dioxide by 55%, volatile organic compounds (other than methane) by 32%, ammonium by 10% and fine particulate matter by 20%. From 2020 to 2030, emissions of nitrogen oxides will have to be reduced by another 3%, sulphur dioxide by 5%, volatile organic compounds by 15% and fine particulate matter by 16%.
Analysis commissioned by the European Commission shows that, if the objectives of the Directive are achieved, by 2030 exposure to ozone that is harmful to human health would drop by 33% in Lithuania (this ozone is not released directly into the air, but is produced when other pollutants are involved). As emissions of fine particulate matter are reduced, the number of life years lost due to their negative impact would contract by 29%.
According to Elena Auglienė, Head of the Ambient Air Division of the Pollution Prevention Department of the Ministry of Environment, a National Air Pollution Control Programme will be drawn up and adopted for the purpose of reducing air pollution and implementing the requirements of the new EU Directive. The programme has to be submitted to the European Commission by 1 April 2019.