This indicator provides information on the number of premature deaths in the EU-27 attributed to long-term exposure to PM2.5 for the years 2005, 2009 and 2011-2019. It also shows progress towards meeting the zero pollution action plan target and the year in which that target could be reached if the current trend continues.
Furthermore, it provides European NUTS3 regional-level information on the number of premature deaths normalised by number of inhabitants attributed to long-term exposure to PM2.5 in 2019.
The methodology to estimate the mortality attributed to air pollution has been explained in several documents:
· the EEA briefing ‘Assessing the risks to health from air pollution’
· ETC/ATNI (2019, 2021) .
The aggregations are either at European level or at NUTS3 level.
The European Commission published in 2013 the Clean Air Programme for Europe, which set the air policy objective of reducing by 2030 premature mortality due to particulate matter and ozone by 52% relative to 2005. This strategy built on the Seventh Environment Action Programme (7th EAP), which reinforced the objective set by the 6th EAP to achieve levels of air quality that do not give rise to significant negative impacts on and risks to human health and the environment.
The zero pollution action plan, adopted in the context of the European Green Deal, has, among other things, set the goal to reduce by 2030 the number of premature deaths in the EU caused by PM2.5 by at least 55%, relative to 2005 levels.
The main uncertainties are those derived from the health risk calculations. They are described at the EEA briefing Assessing the risks to health from air pollution