Air Quality in Europe – developing tools to support regional and urban strategies


Event details

Date 14.02.2019
Hour 13:0014:00
Speaker Dr. Emanuela Peduzzi
Joint Research Center of the European Commission (JRC)
Category Conferences - Seminars

Air quality in Europe has improved over the recent decades because of substantial reductions of emissions of many pollutants. However, it is estimated that a relevant proportion of the European population is still exposed to harmful levels of air pollution and that PM2.5 alone accounts for about 390000 premature deaths in the EU28 [1]. Worldwide this number rises to an estimated 4.2 Million premature deaths with 59% of these occurring in East and South Asia [2].
European Directives address the issue of air quality by setting limit values to concentrations, establishing national emission ceilings for emissions of pollutants and source specific emission standards. Member states are required to assess and monitor air quality and, in case of non-compliance, to design appropriate Air Quality Plans (AQP) and cooperate with other member states to reduce air pollution.
This seminar will present SHERPA (Screening for High Emission Reduction Potentials for Air quality) [3], a tool developed at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) to support air quality plans. SHERPA relies on spatially flexible cell-to-cell source receptor relationships (SRR) [4] as a surrogate to complex chemical transport models. It allows users to differentiate the effects of emissions reductions scenarios by sector (such as energy, residential, traffic, agriculture etc.) and for any given area (ranging from the country scale to the local/regional scale). SHERPA can estimate the urban background concentration response on a 7 x 7 km2 grid covering Europe of Particulate Matter (PM2.5, PM10) and NO2. Based on SHERPA, an Atlas of Air quality in 150 European cities has been published showing, for each urban area, the geographical and sectoral contribution to PM2.5 concentrations [5]. SHERPA is currently being developed to provide a direct evaluation on the impacts (i.e. on health) and improve the definition of the emission reductions considering a more detailed breakup of the sectors.
After a PhD in Energy Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in collaboration with the French Atomic and Alternative Energy Commission (Grenoble), I joined the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Italy as a Contract Agent. My doctoral and post-doctoral research concerned the evaluation and optimization of energy conversion systems, both at the process scale and at the energy system scale. Now I am looking at the impacts of emissions, generated in great part by these same processes, on the air we breathe. In the Air and Climate Unit, I am involved in the development of tools to support plans to improve air quality. In particular, I am contributing to the SHERPA tool – Screening for high Emission Reduction Potential for Air quality - for the evaluation of actions and measures carried out at the local scale. My current interests concern the health impacts of air pollution and integrated assessment models. 

[1] European Environment Agency, “Air quality in Europe - 2018 report,” Publications Office of the European Union, 2018.
[2] A. J. Cohen et al “Estimates and 25-year trends of the global burden of disease attributable to ambient air pollution: an analysis of data from the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2015.,” Lancet (London, England), vol. 389, pp. 1907–1918, May 2017.
[3] P. Thunis, B. Degraeuwe, E. Pisoni, F. Ferrari, A. Clappier, On the design and assessment of regional air quality plans: The SHERPA approach, Journal of Environmental Management 183 (2016) 952-958
[4] E. Pisoni, A. Clappier, B. Degraeuwe, P. Thunis, Adding spatial flexibility to source receptor relationships for air quality modeling, Environmental Modelling & Software, 90 (2017) 68-77
[5] P. Thunis, B. Degraeuwe, E. Pisoni, M. Trombetti, E. Peduzzi, C. A. Belis, J. Wilson, A. Clappier, and E. Vignati, “PM2.5 source allocation in European cities: A SHERPA modelling study,” Atmos. Environ., vol. 187, pp. 93–106, Aug. 2018.


Practical information

  • General public
  • Free





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