As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The European Commission adopted a policy package yesterday with new measures to reduce air pollution. The clean air package updates existing legislation and further reduces harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to lowering their impact on human health and the environment.
Part of the new package is based on four significant JRC contributions. With its general equilibrium model, GEM-E3 , it for example analysed the broader economic impacts of the compliance costs. Among other possible consequences, it assessed the sectorial employment changes, the influence on the sectorial trade flows or on the GDP for the EU28. The analysis also showed that the equivalent of 100 000 jobs is added to the EU economy as fewer workdays are lost, improving the EU's competitiveness and productivity, and leading to a positive net impact on economic growth.
Another JRC study, based on the FIDELIO  model, examined the economic and environmental impacts of various proposed scrappage schemes aiming to promote the replacement of obsolete heating devices by subsidising 20% of the investment costs. The schemes were deemed to be an effective solution for reducing emissions from poorly performing small-scale solid fuel devices.
The JRC also used its FASST model to check whether the proposed measures were climate neutral, meaning that there are no net carbon emissions. The analysis showed that through the new measures black carbon depositions in the Arctic will be reduced by 6%.
The Clean Air package consists of a Clean Air Programme for Europe with measures to meet both short and long-term air quality targets, a revised National Emission Ceilings Directive and a proposal for a new Directive to reduce pollution from medium-sized combustion installations. Implementing the package will save around €40 billion a year for health issues, which is over 12 times the costs of pollution abatement.