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Air pollution

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Air pollution harms human health and the environment. In Europe, emissions of many air pollutants have decreased substantially over the past decades, resulting in improved air quality across the region. However, air pollutant concentrations are still too high, and air quality problems persist. A significant proportion of Europe’s population live in areas, especially cities, where exceedances of air quality standards occur. More

Key facts and messages
Emissions of NOX, SOX, NH3 and NMVOC have decreased significantly in most countries between 1990 and 2012. However, air pollution still causes significant harm to health and the environment in Europe. more
Scientific understanding of the interaction between air pollution and climate change has improved over the last two decades. In particular, there has been a greater realisation that some air pollutants also act as short-term drivers of global... more
Although air pollutants and greenhouse gases often come from the same sources, international agreements generally treat them separately. One way that European policy seeks to connect climate and air quality policies is through the inclusion... more
The majority of countries are making progress towards meeting their 2020 targets under the 2012 revised Gothenburg Protocol. As a result, air quality in Europe is slowly improving. more
Continued improvements in air pollution levels are expected under current legislation, but beyond 2030 only slow progress is expected. Additional measures are needed if Europe is to achieve the long-term objective of air pollution levels that... more
Despite considerable improvements in past decades, air pollution is still responsible for more than 400 000 premature deaths in Europe each year. It also continues to damage vegetation and ecosystems. more
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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