Lena Sommestad chairing last week's meeting on North Sea pollution

Harmful Ozone Blamed on Marine Pollution

After Monday’s report of high levels of surface ozone here, Swedish Environment Minister Lena Sommestad is blaming the problem on increased pollution from ships, and diesel-driven vehicles in other European countries.

Sunlight combines with air pollutants to produce the ozone, which can affect asthmatics and people with heart or lung conditions. For the first time in five years,  levels in southeastern Sweden have risen so high that the authorities have issued a formal health warning.

According to the Environment Minister, if nothing is done to reduce pollution  from ships, by 2020 their emissions will be twice that released on the ground in Europe.

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