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Air pollution

Air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk in Europe

Air pollution is hard to escape, no matter where you live. It can seriously affect your health and the environment. Even though air quality in Europe has improved over recent decades, the levels of air pollutants still exceed EU standards and the most stringent World Health Organization guidelines.

European Air Quality Index

NEW MOBILE APP AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD --- How clean is the air you’re breathing right now? How does the air in your city compare with that of a neighbouring city or region? Air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe. The European Environment Agency's European Air Quality Index allows users to understand more about air quality where they live. Displaying up-to-the-minute data for the whole of Europe, users can gain new insights into the air quality of individual countries, regions and cities.

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Download the Air quality index mobile app 

National air pollutant emissions data viewer 1990 – 2020

This data viewer provides access to the latest air pollutant emission inventory reported to EEA by EU Member States under the National Emission reduction Commitments (NEC) Directive.

While emissions of methane across the European Union have decreased over past years, the overall reduction in emissions needs to accelerate to meet 2030 and 2050 EU climate objectives. Increased global efforts to reduce methane emissions would also be needed to mitigate global warming in the short term, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing on trends and drivers of methane emissions published today.

Europe’s air quality keeps improving and the number of people dying early or suffering illness due to air pollution is in decline. However, according to European Environment Agency’s (EEA) analysis, published today, air pollution is still the largest environmental health risk in Europe, and more ambitious measures are needed to meet the health-based guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of new cars dropped by 12% in 2020 compared to the year before, according to final figures published today by the European Environment Agency. The main reason for the sharp decrease of emissions was a surge in the share of electric vehicle registrations

Published: 24 Nov 2022

Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk in Europe and significantly impacts the health of the European population, particularly in urban areas. While emissions of key air pollutants and their concentrations in ambient air have fallen significantly over the past two decades in Europe, air quality remains poor in many areas.

Published: 07 Sep 2022

Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for approximately a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU. Emissions in this sector have increased every year since 2014, dropping only in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For trucks, the primary cause of this trend is a growing demand for freight transport. It is partly offset by the improved energy efficiency of road freight transport. To contribute to the goal of a climate-neutral EU, a combination of changes is needed, including faster improvements in energy efficiency, a shift to vehicles with lower emissions and/or more efficient transport modes.

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