French Environment and Energy Management Agency
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ADEME in action
The current situation challenges and objectives
Air pollution is threatening our health and the world’s climate, and combating this phenomenon is now a global priority. ADEME is playing its part by helping to draw up new regulations and develop an air-quality monitoring programme. The agency promotes the reduction of polluting emissions that have a negative impact on public health and the environment by providing financial aid to companies, local authorities and individuals.
To reduce atmospheric pollution effectively, we require new regulations on both stationary – particularly industrial – operations and mobile (i.e. transport-related) sources.
In general, regulations target the volume of pollutants emitted and are developed within the context of international agreements. The Kyoto Protocol, for example, prompted 38 countries to make a commitment to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions.
In the countries of the EU, the European Commission issues directives that fix threshold limits for emissions; each directive is then adjusted to the national programme of each country. By 2010, therefore, so as to comply with the European “National Emission Ceilings” (NEC) directive, France needs to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide by 50% and volatile organic compounds by 40%, in addition to stabilizing its ammonia emissions, among other targets.
ADEME taking action
Since the adoption of LAURE, each of us has been granted the right to breathe air that is not damaging to our health and to be kept informed on air quality and its effects. ADEME supports these basic rights by funding and providing technical assistance to an air-quality monitoring and pollution-forecasting programme. The agency works in cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, in accordance with its public health objectives, and publishes the Bulletin de l’Air based on ATMO indexes calculated by certified air-quality monitoring agencies (AASQA). Each day, the bulletin indicates the current level of pollution in France’s major urban areas and provides a next-day forecast. The agency also played a part in creating the Prev’air website, which posts daily forecasts and shows ozone concentration levels over the whole of France. This website proved its worth during the heatwave of 2003 by pinpointing areas where there were high levels of ozone concentration. The ADEME also participates in France’s Indoor Air-Quality Monitoring Unit, which assesses the quality of air inhaled inside buildings.
In cooperation with industrial and public research centres and car manufacturers, ADEME supports research and development into the reduction of polluting emissions that are a direct result of stationary sources (industrial operations in particular) and such mobile sources as modes of transport.
The agency lends its expertise to public authorities when drawing up new regulations.
In addition, it supports illustrative demo operations that target the prevention and processing of atmospheric emissions through decision-support initiatives and investment.
ADEME raises awareness among companies, local and regional authorities and the general public on the need to reduce atmospheric pollution. To achieve this, the agency circulates general and technical information, organizes symposia and daylong conferences, and informs the public on the studies and demo operations it has supported.
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