Network of pollution projects to influence European air quality policies

December 5, 2003

Brussels, 04 Dec 2003

A Eureka project which brought together researchers from 25 countries, as well as the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), has provided new information on the causes and effects of atmospheric pollution.

EUROTRAC-2 saw over 300 research groups working in a cluster of 14 sub-projects. The consortium's work has generated some 900 scientific papers, more than 100 PhD theses and important new knowledge on the origins and behaviour of pollutants. Work is set to continue under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme if the consortium's proposal for a Network of Excellence is approved.

The project results are helping to overcome scientific uncertainty with regard to pollution, and are expected to have a significant influence on new legislation. The results have already been incorporated into discussions on the updating of the 1996 EU Air Quality Framework Directive and related legislation.

'Transboundary pollution is politically delicate, so the negotiators need a firm scientific platform,' says Pauline Midgley from Germany's national research centre for environment and health (GSF), who coordinated the project.

The individual projects within the cluster dealt with issues ranging from the formation of secondary aerosols to urban pollution in car parks and between buildings, and the satellite tracking of regional pollutant drifts.

The JRC contributed 18.01 per cent of the 20.98 million euro budget, making it the second largest contributor after Germany. Its scientific contribution centred on aerosol characterisation in the North Atlantic; and biogenic emissions in the Mediterranean area and their role in tropospheric ozone formation.

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CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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