European citizens are footing a bill for air pollution of up to €169billion a year, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Three quarters of this price tag is down to the emissions from 622 or just 6% of the 10,000 largest polluting factories and plants in Europe.
The EU’s green watchdog, which looked at figures from 2009, estimates that this cost each citizen between €200-330.
Professor Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director said: “Our analysis reveals the high cost caused by pollution from power stations and other large industrial plants.” She said the estimated costs were calculated using the emissions reported by the facilities themselves.
Polish coal power plant Belchatow, run by state-owned energy company PGE, topped the EEA’s list of most costly while the UK’s Drax Power Station in Selby, also a coal plant, was ranked fifth.
The EEA research included large power plants, refineries, manufacturers and waste facilities although didn’t cover transport, households and most agricultural activities.