A drop in air pollution has been linked to the recession. A yearly report for the EU on air pollution found that emissions of nearly all the main pollutants fell across Europe in 2009.Analysis by the European Environment Agency, who put together the report, showed the economic recession to be a key factor.
Reduced energy demand because of the recession led to lower emissions from public power plants in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Spain, for example. Similarly, emissions of other key pollutants from the electricity-generating sector also fell significantly in 2009: NOx (nitrogen oxide) and primary particulate matter (PM) both dropped by around 10% between 2008 and 2009.
The report noted that although emissions within the EU have fallen significantly, air quality can still be quite low, particularly in urban areas.