A comparative assessment of air quality across European countries using an integrated decision support model

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2022-06
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
14
Series
Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, articlenumber 101198
Abstract
Reducing air pollution including greenhouse gas emissions originating from extensive use of fossil fuels is critical for European countries aiming at improving their environment and at carbon neutrality by the middle of this century. To optimally reduce the air pollutants and mitigate the climate change, not only national or European Union level regulation need to be considered, but also international agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals, Kyoto Protocol, and Paris Climate Agreement need to be included in these strategies. Managing such a complex framework would benefit from reliable multi-criteria decision-making approaches. Current models to enhance air quality often concentrate on one criterion at a time and focus on momentary improvements only, unable to offer longstanding enhancement. Therefore, comparative analysis of emissions of several air pollutants simultaneously is highly relevant empowering decision-makers with better tools for policy development. The focus of this study is on a decision support model based on the Best-Worst Method and the Measurement of Alternatives and Ranking According to Compromise Solution method to comparatively analyze air pollutants of 22 European countries. This study is the first in its kind to develop an integrated decision model for air quality assessment considering six air pollutants. Extensive sensitivity analyses were performed to highlight the impacts from different scenarios on the decision-making. The results indicate that Sweden, Latvia, France, Lithuania, Hungary, and Italy ranked as the top six countries with the lowest emission. However, Finland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, and Estonia had the lowest overall ranking and the highest per capita emissions. The proposed methodology and evaluation framework can provide a helpful tool for developing regional and national strategies to minimize air pollutants and to improve environmental sustainability.
Description
Funding Information: The European Union (EU) has been active in creating a cleaner society by controlling air pollutants within different sectors such as transportation [13] and industrial activities [14]. Air pollution control in the EU and tracking of emission commitments of its member states is administered by the European Environment Agency [15], supporting policies aiming at enhancing green economics, sustainable industries, high environmental development, sustainable and smart societies, and cleaner agricultural activities [16]. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd
Keywords
Air pollution, Best worst method, Greenhouse gas emissions, Multi-criteria decision-making, Sustainable development
Other note
Citation
Torkayesh, A E, Alizadeh, R, Soltanisehat, L, Torkayesh, S E & Lund, P D 2022, ' A comparative assessment of air quality across European countries using an integrated decision support model ', Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, vol. 81, 101198 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2021.101198