“It’s a roadmap for how we can live longer, live healthier and protect our fragile ecosystems better.” PROGRESS SO FAR In the last decade, tighter European regulations on power stations and other sources of pollution have seen a 50 percent cut in emissions of sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain, while carbon monoxide emissions have fallen by a third. By contrast, the amount of harmful particles and ozone in the air has fallen only slightly. Combined with WHO findings that lower concentrations of air pollution can be more harmful than previously thought, pressure is building on the European Union to do more. “Air pollution is causing damage to human health and ecosystems. Large parts of the population do not live in a healthy environment, according to current standards,” said Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the Copenhagen-based EEA. The tighter proposed limits on PM could pose problems for EU governments, many of which have struggled to meet the existing limits in force since 2010, resulting in up to a third of Europeans being exposed to dangerous levels of PM pollution. In its report, the EEA said PM pollution – particularly in urban areas – posed the greatest risk to human health because it can pass directly from the lungs into the bloodstream. Although struggling to meet the limits, cities in Europe – along with the Americas – enjoy relatively low average PM pollution levels compared with those in southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, WHO data showed. Ground-level ozone pollution – formed indirectly by a combination of sunlight and mixtures of other pollutants in the atmosphere – inflicts huge damage on EU crop production, particularly in Mediterranean countries such as Italy, France and Spain. It has been estimated that ozone pollution resulted in production losses of 27 million tonnes of grain in Europe in 2000. The increasing number of diesel vehicles on Europe’s roads, particularly newer models, are a major source of nitrogen dioxide, one of the main precursor pollutants that form ozone, the report says. That is because while modern diesel exhaust after-treatment systems reduce fine particle and other emissions, they increase direct nitrogen dioxide emissions. (Additional reporting by Barbara Lewis; editing by Tom Pfeiffer) Loading Slideshow Top 10 Most Polluting Countries In the following slides, find the top 10 countries with the greatest carbon dioxide emissions in 2011. Figures are estimates from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR), a joint project of the European Commission and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. (Photo Getty Images) 10.
U.S. stocks rose on Monday , but traded lower on Tuesday . Asia markets closed mostly higher . German ZEW data German data further provided investors with a reason to celebrate. The ZEW sentiment survey showed that the economic expectations indicator rose further above its long-term average in October, to 52.8 points from 49.6 points in Septemberbeating economists expectations for an unchanged reading. Germanys DAX 30 index /quotes/zigman/2380246 DX:DAX +0.92% jumped 0.9% to 8,804.44, for the highest closing level on record. The U.K.s FTSE 100 index /quotes/zigman/3173262 UK:UKX +0.64% picked up 0.6% to 6,549.11, while Frances CAC 40 index /quotes/zigman/3173214 FR:PX1 +0.78% rose 0.8% to 4,256.02. Morgan Cazenove lifted the equipment-rental company to overweight from neutral. Man Group PLC /quotes/zigman/12639690 UK:EMG +6.35% rallied 6.4% after UBS added the investment firm to its most-preferred list. In the same vein, UBS added Schroders PLC /quotes/zigman/257601 UK:SDR -0.30% to its least-preferred list, sending the shares 0.3% lower. Morgan Cazenove upgraded the firm to neutral from underweight.