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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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European city air quality viewer

Policies to reduce air pollution have led to improved air quality in Europe over the last three decades. However, in some European cities air pollution still poses risks to health. You can use the European city air viewer to check how the air quality was in your city over the past two years and to compare it with air quality in other cities across Europe.

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

Ninety-six percent of Europe’s urban population was exposed to fine particulate matter above the health-based guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the latest annual European Environment Agency (EEA) air quality assessment published today.

Breaches of EU air quality limits for nitrogen dioxide across Europe were predominantly due to road traffic, while domestic heating lay behind the majority of exceedances for particulate matter, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment on air quality plans published today.

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.

Published: 11 Jul 2022

This document is the annual EU emission inventory report under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (Air Convention) (UNECE, 1979). The report and its accompanying data constitute the official submission to the UNECE secretariat from the European Commission (EC) on behalf of the EU as a Party to the UNECE Executive Secretary (Box ES.1). The EEA compiled the report in cooperation with the EU Member States and the EC.

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