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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.

Today, the European Commission is publishing its first Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook report setting pathways to cleaner air, water and soil. The Commission report, together with the European Environment Agency's monitoring assessment, shows that EU policies have contributed to reducing air pollution as well as pollution from pesticides. However, in other areas such as harmful noise, nutrient pollution or municipal waste generation, problems persist. The results show that overall much stronger action is necessary if the EU is to achieve 2030 zero pollution targets, by adopting new anti-pollution laws and better implementing existing ones.

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).

Published: 08 Dec 2022

The zero pollution action plan is a cornerstone of the EU’s ambitions to improve the well-being and health of citizens and future generations under the European Green Deal. It sets out the vision that by 2050, the EU should have reduced pollution to the extent that it no longer harms human health and natural ecosystems. This is translated into key 2030 targets to speed up reducing pollution at source. The European Environment Agency has produced this zero pollution monitoring assessment to assess progress towards these targets and to support the Commission in the delivery of the long-term vision of a non-toxic environment.

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.

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