"Discoalification" of Europe and its impacts on Air Quality.



For a considerable period of time, coal has been viewed as a loyal friend of humanity being a central element of Industrial Revolution. Moreover, from mainstream historical perspective coal is a synonym of Industrial Revolution above all else. Unfortunately, today the tide has turned and what has been considered as our life-long friend is actually a wolf in a sheep's clothing. Coal-fired power plants have malignant effects on the entire environment by not only producing vast amount of greenhouse gases, but also by deteriorating air quality via releasing particulate matter and gaseous pollutants to the air. What we can learn from the coal use dynamics nowadays is that the European countries that had considerably decreased coal use have also improved air quality in their cities. Look at the combined results of the coal use across a selection of European Countries and the air quality. Belgium, France, Austria, Finland and Great Britain have reached the air quality levels comparable to Mediterranean leaders of beach tourism (Greece, Spain and Portugal). Contrary, the countries whose economy relies on coal (>20% in 2015-2019 period) have the worst air quality in Europe. The most prominent example is Poland where the coal addiction is highest in Europe and air quality is worst by far. We have recently provided a quick review about air quality issue in Poland. This finding approves a simple thing that two crucial environmental objectives (decarbonization and air quality improvement) go just hand in hand and should be coordinated in synergy. Coal-free future with the clean air for all people is not a dream for the but a realistic aim that all national governments and corporations should pursue or at least comply. PM 2.5 data: SEDAC NASA

Coal use diagram: Ayrthon Bourn Coal use data: Sandbag

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