EEA Signals 2020: Towards zero pollution in Europe

The EEA Signals report is an annual, easy-to-read publication, consisting of a series of short articles, that looks at key issues related to the environment and climate. Recent EEA Signals reports have looked at soil (2019), water (2018), energy (2017).


Editorial — Towards zero pollution in Europe

Hans Bruyninckx

"For the first time in modern history, we have the means to aspire to generating heat and electricity, moving around and growing food without harmful pollution. We no longer need to accept pollution that affects people and the environment as an inevitable side product of progress."

 Hans Bruyninckx 
EEA Executive Director

What is pollution? Where does it come
from? How does pollution affect the
environment and how does it affect
people’s health? How can Europe move
towards zero pollution, in line with the
ambition of the European Green Deal?
EEA Signals 2020 looks at pollution
through different lenses related to the
Agency’s work and EU legislation.


The European Commission's zero pollution ambition

The European Commission has recently published the roadmap for the EU Action Plan Towards a Zero Pollution Ambition. The roadmap is open for public feedback until 29 October 2020.


Interview —
Does the polluter pay?


Professor Geert Van Calster
University of Leuven

Interview — Addressing environmental risks to health

Francesca Racioppi
WHO European Centre for
Environment and Health





COVID-19 and air pollution

A decrease in many societal and economic activities during the pandemic led to a decrease in emissions and subsequent levels of certain air pollutants. For example, the use of vehicles declined during lockdowns and this led to lower nitrogen dioxide concentrations in many cities across Europe.

Find out more in EEA post corona planet platform 



What is pollution?

Pollution changes a medium such as air, water or soil in a way that can make it harmful to people or nature. Different types of pollutants include chemicals, dust, noise and radiation. EEA Signals 2020 looks at pollution through different lenses related to the Agency’s work and EU legislation.


Cover image © Marco Gon, REDISCOVER Nature /EEA

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union did not affect the production of this report. Data reported by the United Kare included in all analyses and assessments contained herein, unless otherwise indicated.


Title: EEA Signals 2020: Towards zero pollution in Europe
PDF - TH-AP-20-669-EN-N - ISBN 978-92-9480-267-5 - ISSN 2443-7492- doi: 10.2800/40627
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