The dirtiest plants in Europe

Germany's lignite power plants still dominate the CO2 list. Serbia is registering emissions for the first time and enters both the NOx list and the SO2 list.

Belchatow power plant in Poland is a European top polluter. Photo: placid casual / Creative Commons

The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) has been updated with information on releases and transfers from industrial installations in 2009. For the first time voluntarily reported data from Serbia are included in the register. Five Serbian facilities are found among the register's top twelve emitters of SO2 and one of them also makes it on to the NOx list.

The effects of the 2001 Large Combustion Plants Directive, which extended limit values for NOx and SO2 to existing plants, are starting to show, especially for SO2. Maritsa 2 in Bulgaria is still the largest polluter, but decreased emissions of SO2 in 2009 by more than 100,000 tonnes compared to 2008.

When looking at major CO2 emitters you notice hardly any changes in 2009 compared with the previous year. There are no significant decreases and Germany's lignite power plants still dominate among the top polluters.

The E-PRTR is a service managed by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA). The online register contains information on emissions of pollutants released to air, water and land by industrial facilities throughout Europe (32 countries: EU27, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Serbia). The first data set is from 2007 and has now been updated for the third time.

Kajsa Lindqvist


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