Falls in Swiss traffic emissions predicted

Projections to 2020 show most pollution to drop sharply, but CO2, particulates, still problematic

Most types of Swiss road traffic pollution will continue to decline to 2020, according to figures released by the country's environment agency. The report assumes compliance with the EU's strict 1998 Auto/Oil legislative package and projects emissions ten years beyond a previous study released in 1995.

Swiss emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons and diesel soot have all more than halved since peaking in the 1970s or 1980s, the survey shows, and will fall further still. Lead emissions, which were over 1,500 tonnes per year in 1970, have already virtually ceased. All of the four pollutants except NOx, it says, will have lower emissions in 2020 than in 1950.

Key remaining policy challenges are traffic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and fine particulates, the report says. It concludes that last year's national law requiring an 8% cut in traffic CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2010 (ENDS Daily 8 October 1999) will not be met without further measures. Meanwhile, air concentrations of fine particles (PM10) remain clearly above healthy levels, largely due to traffic pollution, it adds.

Follow Up:
Swiss environment agency, tel: +41 31 322 8999, and press release.

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