Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Royal Society Urge Stronger Action for Ozone Pollution

A recent report conducted by leading experts from across Europe published by the Royal Society, suggests we need much stronger legislation regarding tropospheric (low/ground-level atmosphere) ozone pollution.

Tropospheric ozone lowers crop yields, damages natural ecosystems and harms human health potentially leading to respiratory problems. It is created from reactions between compounds released from fossil fuels burnt in vehicles, power stations and aviation.

It has been estimated that over 1,500 people died in the UK in 2003 as a result of ozone pollution. The EU is said to have lost billions of Euros as a result of yield reduction caused by ozone. The 'precursor' pollutants such as methane and oxides of nitrogen are also active greenhouse gases, so a reduction in ozone pollution would contribute to the fight against climate change.

The Royal Society would like to see legislation that results in a decoupling of ozone pollution from economic growth. It is vital that greater regulation is imposed upon the shipping industry. The chair of the working group, Prof David Fowler, said that by 2020, pollution from shipping in Europe will outstrip land based sources. If ozone pollution continues as current trends predict, it will become a considerably more serious problem by the end of this century.

Download the report here:

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