The Solvents Industry is committed to the improvement of air quality in Europe, and has been closely following scientific developments on air pollution. In 2006 ESIG commissioned two model runs and examined the results of a third independent model to project ozone levels following certain VOC regulatory measures. These three models were:
- the Chimere Model developed by L'Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques (INERIS) and used in French Government scenarios.
- the LOTOSEUROS Model developed by Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast-Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek (TNO) in the Netherlands.
- the Harwell Trajectory Model developed independently by Professor Richard Derwent and used to evaluate European ground-level ozone trends from 1990-2008.
The results :
- The key finding from the Harwell is that the solvents industry has made a substantial contribution to the reduction of ground-level ozone and that the Solvents Emissions Directive has had a significant impact on the improvement of ozone air quality.
- The key findings from the INERIS and TNO modelling exercises was that further VOC emissions reductions will not deliver sizeable ozone reduction once current legislation is fully implemented. Legislators and industry should therefore focus on implementing existing legislation rather than introducing additional VOC legislation.
- ESIG supports the current proposal from the European Commission for the revision of the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD), which is setting out emission reduction targets for 2020 aligning EU legislation with the requirements of the Gothenburg Protocol. Further new emission reduction targets beyond 2020 should be pragmatic in terms of costs and technical feasibility and should bring clear environmental benefits. Modern solvents can extend the life of products (e.g. cars coating, bridge paints...) and ESIG believes that further reductions in VOC emissions will negatively impact the sustainability and efficiency of solvent use.
Ozone SOMO35 Delta in % from 01/01/1997 to 31/12/1997