Air Pollution and the Effects on Ukraine

Essay by sexyberthaCollege, UndergraduateB+, January 2009

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Ukraine is distinct for being home to some of the richest natural environments and resources in Europe while at the same time being one of the most heavily polluted countries in the region. Ukraine is one of the least energy efficient countries in the world (Bank, 2007). World Bank (2007) composed an inventory in 1998, and estimated that total emissions from Ukraine were 246 million tons of CO2, and in 2002 the total emissions were 487.7 million tons of carbon equivalents. Ukraine has a severely high level of air pollution. This pollution is caused by emissions from road traffic, industries, and the energy sector. In 2005, over 200 cities in Ukraine exceeded the levels established by the World Bank health standards for annual concentrations of at least one pollutant. Nineteen cities exceeded health standards for three or more pollutants by at least a factor of 10. In comparison, the air pollution levels in the Los Angeles area, which has the worst overall air quality in the United States, rarely exceed US standards, which are similar to Ukraine's, by a factor of more than 1.5

(Bank, 2007).

The Ukraine’s level of air pollution is a major issue, with road traffic alone responsible for 75-90% of the air pollution (Strukova, 2007). Road transportation, private and public, is the most popular mode for passenger travel in the Ukraine, accounting for 49% of the total means of transportation (Development, 2005). It is also the most energy intensive and environmentally dangerous form of transportation. Vehicles emit many greenhouse gases, as well as many other pollutants, and heavy metals such as lead, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides (Strukova, 2007). Since the mid-90’s, the number of private cars has been growing at a constant and rapid rate. The supply of public vehicles in Ukraine has not been...