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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
Air pollution has significant impacts on the health of Europeans, particularly in urban areas, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). While air quality is slowly improving, air pollution remains the single largest environmental health hazard in Europe, resulting in a lower quality of life due to illnesses and an estimated 467 000 premature deaths per year.
A large scale roll-out of electric cars on European roads would result in significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower levels of certain air pollutants, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment released today. However, widespread use of such vehicles would pose challenges for Europe’s power grid in meeting increased electricity demand.
Ammonia emissions in Europe have fallen since 1990, but by not as much as emissions of other air pollutants tracked under an internationally agreed United Nations convention. According to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA), ammonia emissions increased in 2014, meaning several EU Member States as well as the EU now exceed their respective ammonia emission limits under the convention.
Transport plays a critical role in the way we live. Our food, clothes and household waste all need to be transported, contributing to our economy and quality of life. But the increasing use of planes, cars and other fossil-fuel dependent modes of transport is causing more pollution, putting at risk our environment and health. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals 2016 explores how Europe’s carbon-dependent transport sector can be turned into a clean and smart mobility system.
At all governance levels, public policy making entails making decisions between different options and approaches. Some decisions, such as to invest in fossil fuels or renewables, might involve selecting one option over the other. Others might address the ‘how’ question – we will invest in renewables but which ones are the best for the society? Each policy decision results in outcomes, some of which might be unforeseen, unexpected or even detrimental to those whose lives it is supposed to improve. In the long term, the overall harm can be much larger than gains in the short term. To achieve the positive and lasting results on the ground, policy makers need to be able to make informed decisions, after assessing the benefits and costs of each available option.
Last month the European Environment Agency (EEA) released its latest ‘Air quality in Europe’ report which showed that while air quality is slowly improving, air pollution remains the single largest environmental health hazard in Europe. We sat down with Alberto González Ortiz, an EEA air quality expert, to discuss the report’s findings and how technologies like satellite imagery are helping to improve air quality research.
Despite temporary slowdowns, the demand for transport of both passengers and goods has been growing steadily and is projected to continue. As such, more and more cars are sold in Europe, the majority of which are diesel powered. And while engines are becoming more efficient, this growth means GHG emissions are a major concern.
With the recent publication of the EEA’s annual Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) for 2015, and with international attention focusing on the ongoing vehicle emissions scandal, we spoke with the EEA’s TERM coordinator, Alfredo Sánchez Vicente.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) is supporting the Commission in the monitoring of the CO2 performance of passenger cars and vans, according to the European Regulations (EC) 443/2009 and (EU) 510/2011.
This report presents an updated overview and analysis of air quality in Europe. It is focused on the air quality state in 2014 and the development from 2000 to 2014. It reviews progress towards meeting the requirements of the air quality directives. An overview of the latest findings and estimates of the trends in concentrations, the effects of air pollution on health and its impacts on ecosystems are also given.
With fossil fuels still contributing to roughly half of the electricity generated in Europe, moving away from a carbon-intensive power supply over the next few decades will require a commitment to increase investment in clean technology, restructure the fossil fuel energy infrastructure and ensure a secure and affordable power supply. In this context, this report fills an important information gap by looking at: • the theoretical evolution of fossil fuel capacity by 2030 in the absence of strong drivers to counter present trends; • how this hypothetical evolution would fit in with the need to create a qualitatively different EU power sector by 2030 and beyond, in line with EU climate goals.
Technical guidance to prepare national emission inventories. The joint EMEP/EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook supports the reporting of emissions data under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive. It provides expert guidance on how to compile an atmospheric emissions inventory. The Guidebook is published by the EEA with the CLRTAP Task Force on Emission Inventories and Projections responsible for the technical content of the chapters.