Germany top European polluter

A new database reveals which countries are abiding by pollution agreements, with Italy emerging as the most transparent country, and Germany coming bottom of the league.

Germany is the worst country in the EU for reporting on dangerous industrial emissions, according to a new tracking tool designed, while Italy is the most transparent, followed by Ireland, the Czech Republic and Croatia. The Industrial Plant Data Viewer launched by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) allows users to access and compare data from over 3,000 large combustion plants across the EU, and check whether they are doing their job to prevent pollution.

EU laws require operators of large industrial installations to generate annual compliance reports and monitoring results on environmental performance, and national authorities to make such information available to the public, including operating permits. However, most member states are failing to disclose crucial information about highly-polluting activities, and many are not even meeting the minimum transparency requirements.

In this the EU is behind China and the US, the former reporting system offering high-quality, real time data at facility level, and the latter system enables the comparison of key information with neighbouring countries, but the EU has so far failed to provide adequate access to data generated by the industry.

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