External costs by sector aggregated over all pollutants (2012-2021)

Figure Created 07 Dec 2023 Last modified 08 Dec 2023
1 min read
Through a scientific methodology called the "Impact Pathway Approach", it is possible to calculate the external costs of industrial air pollution, by modelling how pollutants travel and are transformed in the atmosphere, the exposure population and the environment may have, how this exposure leads to an impact, and the economic value of such impacts. Such calculation uses: Marginal cost per tonne of various pollutants and emissions reported by large industrial operators to E-PRTR. In the figure, one can see large decreases in the 'damage' caused by the different large industrial sectors of the EU27. The biggest sector (energy sector) is also the one with the biggest decreases. Due to the pandemic, one can see a drop in 2020 and rebound effect in 2021 when restrictions started to be lifted. One can also see more progress in earlier years and a certain stagnation in recent years, whereas the external costs remain high.

European data


Additional information

Mortality valued using the value of a life year (VOLY)
Euro price base: 2021
Data gaps: Czechia (2021), Malta (2020-2021), Lithuania (2020-2021) and Slovakia (2018-2021) - (Lack of data submission in these years. This data has been projected using the latest reported year for the summaries at EU level (by pollutant group and by sector) but not when individual countries or facilities are presented
Source: EEA and ETC-HE work on externalities during 2022 and 2023.

In addition to the sectors shown in the figure, the analysis also covered livestock (Intensive rearing of pigs and poultry - large farms), waste management (IED scope) and wastewater (plants above 100,000p.e.). Due to the nature of the sectors, the scope of the E-PRTR legislation and the selection of pollutants, these sectors represented a low amount of external costs to health and the environment, which could lead to misleading conclusions. Therefore they have not been presented in this figure.


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