Assessment of policy instruments for efficient ozone abatement strategies in Europe

Funded by:		CEC, Environment and Climate Programme
Project duration: 	1996-1999

The occurrence of increased ambient concentrations of ozone during summer season in the troposphere over Europe remains to be an unresolved problem in the field of air pollution. The first question is how to reduce precursor emissions in a way that leads to an efficient reduction of ambient ozone concentrations below certain limits. As it can be assumed that benefits and burdens of the proposed abatement strategies will not be distributed equally among European countries, the second question is how to achieve a fair and equitable implementation of these strategies. Thus, the objectives of the INFOS project are the analysis and the assessment of instruments of environmental policy that can be used for the appropriate implementation of efficient and least-cost ozone abatement strategies in Europe.

In the framework of the above, the EZM system was applied to three mesoscale European urban areas (Stuttgart, Athens and Milan) for simulating ozone levels considering the emission situation at two time horizons, namely 1990 and 2010. For the latter, three emission reduction scenarios were adopted. In a first stage, the "business as usual" scenario was investigated. Consecutively, two local scale 50% reductions of NOx and VOC emissions respectively, where applied on top of the "business as usual" scenario. In order to assess the impact of all proposed emission interventions on ozone exposure, the EZM system was applied for a multi-month period over the areas of interest.
Model results showed that although the situation is expected to ameliorate with the implementation of the future scenarios, exceedances of the ozone threshold values are still predicted for both the urban and the non-urban sites of the areas considered. This indicates that more efficient measures are necessary in order to achieve the targets defined in the Framework Directive of the EU with regard to ozone.