Air pollution - National Responses (Sweden)
- Air pollution
Important controlling mechanisms for improving air quality are more stringent emission requirements for vehicles, mobile machinery, ships and industries, but also environmental quality standards for outdoor air as well as the Swedish environmental objecti
e) Which responses (R) have been put in place or are planned at national level for the theme in question?
Important tools for improving air quality are the following: more stringent emission requirements for vehicles, mobile machinery, shipping, industries and single house heating with wood, but also environmental quality standards for outdoor air as well as the Swedish environmental objectives. The Clean Air, Natural Acidification Only and Zero Eutrophication environmental quality objectives are linked with air quality and deposition.
Reduction of sulphur dioxide depends largely on lower sulphur content in oil and the cleansing of power plant emissions. Indirectly, the transition to other types of energy such as nuclear power, wind power and hydroelectric power has contributed to the lower concentrations.
With respect to PM10, new regulation of the use of studded tyres is expected to affect concentrations during the next few years.
Action programmes are set up
Environmental quality standards for outdoor air are, for different types of air pollution, either threshold values or air quality objectives. The standards are either as stringent or more stringent than the threshold values specified in the EC directive for air quality. If the standards are violated, an action programme will be set up. Since 2002, four action programmes have been established for particles, and five for nitrogen dioxide. Important action areas within Sweden are transportation, energy supply and physical planning. A survey conducted in 2008, however, questioned the effectiveness of the action programmes on air quality. The problem may be that the programmes are not optimally designed, that the costs and impacts are difficult to calculate and that measures decided upon have not been carried out. However, the system is under development.
International actions are also important. Sweden participates in the work with the EU Air Quality Directive and with the ceiling directive for air pollutants as well as international conventions, for instance the UN Convention of Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP).