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

Ali Ebadi Torkayesh, Reza Alizadeh*, Leili Soltanisehat, Sajjad Ebadi Torkayesh, Peter D. Lund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101198
Number of pages14
JournalSocio-Economic Planning Sciences
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Air pollution
  • Best worst method
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Multi-criteria decision-making
  • Sustainable development


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