Sulphur dioxide air pollution levels in Denmark have more than halved in 2015, according to a new report from the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE) at Aarhus University.
The report showed that the amount of sulphur dioxide has been reduced by up to 60 percent – most probably due to tougher EU directives that came into effect on 1 January 2015. The directive meant that all ships in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea were forced to reduce their sulphur emissions by 90 percent.
“The year isn’t over yet, and the data we do have has not been quality controlled,” said Thomas Ellermann, the head of DCE’s air quality program. “But we are confident it won’t have an impact on the the 50-60 percent reduction in sulphur dioxide levels we are expecting.”
Sniffing out polluters
To ensure the ships adhere to the pollution requirements, the Environment and Food Ministry has intensified its monitoring.
Part of those efforts include the installation of a ‘sniffer’ device on Storebæltsbroen Bridge that reveals any ships sailing under the bridge polluting more than they should. Initial results from the ‘sniffer’ revealed that 98 percent of the ships have adhered to the sulphur dioxide demands.
However, Ellermann did concede that part of the fall in sulphur dioxide levels could be attributed to natural variations in meteorological conditions.