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Air pollution goes down as Europe takes hard measures to combat coronavirus

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) data confirm large decreases in air pollutant concentrations — of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in particular — largely due to reduced traffic and other activities, especially in major cities under lockdown measures. Reductions of around half have been seen in some locations. The EEA’s data are measured hourly, on the ground, at about 3,000 monitoring stations across European countries.

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Citizen science projects on air quality produce useful information and raise public awareness

Air pollution is the biggest environmental health threat in Europe and more and more people are taking action to claim their right to clean air. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report provides an overview of low-cost devices that citizens and NGOs can use to measure local air quality.

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European Union continues to phase-down its use of climate-warming fluorinated gases

The European Union remains on track in meeting the goal to phase-down the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases), according to updated data published by the European Environment Agency today.

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Walking, cycling and public transport in cities remain greener mobility options than electric scooters or car ride-hailing

The growing use of electric scooters and ride-hailing services is transforming how we move in urban centres — but walking, cycling and public transport remain the best way to improve sustainable mobility in cities, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. A separate EEA briefing on the environmental and climate impacts of transport finds that emissions of greenhouse gases from transport continue to increase, as demand for mobility across Europe keeps growing.

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Renewables crucial for EU decarbonisation, but technology choices matter for air quality

Growth in renewable energy use since 2005 has been instrumental in reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union (EU), according to a briefing published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Many renewables, including those sourced from wind, solar geothermal energy or heat pumps, are also effective in cutting air pollutant emissions but the results are mixed when biomass replaces fossil fuel burning, especially in households.

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Cutting air pollution in Europe would prevent early deaths, improve productivity and curb climate change

Europe’s air is getting cleaner but persistent pollution, especially in cities, still damages people’s health and the economy. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new analysis on air quality shows that exposure to air pollution caused about 400,000 premature deaths in the European Union (EU) in 2016.

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EU on track to end use of chemicals harming the ozone layer

The European Union (EU) has achieved its goals to phase out ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report shows that in 2018 the EU again destroyed or exported more ozone-depleting substances than it produced or imported.

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EU Member States make only mixed progress in reducing emissions under UN convention, latest air pollution data shows

European Union (EU) Member States have made only mixed progress in reducing emissions of the most harmful air pollutants, according to updated data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The data is from the annual EU emission inventory report sent to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP).

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European pollutant register an important tool for EU in tackling industrial emissions

A decade after its launch, the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) continues to prove its value. The online register is a widely recognised tool, used to assess pollution trends and evaluate the effectiveness of EU legislation in various areas, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today.

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Ammonia emissions from agriculture continue to pose problems for Europe

While emissions of most air pollutants remain on a downward trend across the European Union, emissions of ammonia from the agricultural sector continue to rise, posing a challenge for EU Member States in meeting EU air pollution limits, according to updated data released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

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EEA policy evaluation: EU law on combustion plants very effective in greening the energy sector

Emissions of key air pollutants from large combustion plants have significantly decreased in the European Union (EU) over past years. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment published today, the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive regulating this sector was the main reason behind these major emission cuts from 2004 to 2015. Understanding the reasons for past policy successes is essential to inform how new policies can be designed to ensure that Europe meets its health, environment and climate targets.

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New initiative to measure outdoor air quality at schools across Europe

Air pollution is a growing concern in Europe and globally. CleanAir@School initiative is putting focus on air quality around Europe’s schools by involving children, parents and teachers in measuring pollutant concentrations. The project is a joint initiative of the European Environment Agency and the European Network of the Heads of Environmental Protection Agencies.

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Challenges for achieving clean air — lessons from ten cities across Europe

Implementing EU air quality legislation to protect human health and the environment from pollution can be demanding for countries and cities. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has worked together with a number of European cities to better understand policy implementation challenges. The EEA’s new report, published today, summarises key findings on the cities’ progress over the past five years and highlights on-going challenges for improving air quality at the local level.

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More action needed to protect Europe’s most vulnerable citizens from air pollution, noise and extreme temperatures

Targeted action is needed to better protect the poor, the elderly and children from environmental hazards like air and noise pollution and extreme temperatures, especially in Europe’s eastern and southern regions. A European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today warns that the health of Europe’s most vulnerable citizens remains disproportionately affected by these hazards, despite overall improvements in Europe’s environmental quality.

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Environment and climate impacts of aviation continue growing

Improving technology, more efficient operations, better airports and market-based measures have not been enough to mitigate the aviation sector’s growing impacts on the environment, climate and people's health. These are the key findings of a new report, published jointly today by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and EUROCONTROL.

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EU goal on phase-down of F-gases remains on track

Updated data reported by industry shows the European Union’s goal to phase-down the use of fluorinated greenhouse-gases (F-gases) remained on track in 2017, according to the latest annual update published by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Ambitious emission limits for power plants would result in significant pollution cuts in the EU

European Union (EU) Member States have an opportunity to set ambitious limits for pollutant emissions from power plants. According to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis, published today, setting strict but realistic emission limits for the power sector could cut emissions of key pollutants by 79-91 % by 2030. These limits are in line with EU law that establishes a flexible range of requirements, from minimum to more ambitious targets.

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Air pollution still too high across Europe

Despite slow improvements, air pollution continues to exceed European Union and World Health Organization limits and guidelines, according to updated data and information published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Air pollution still poses a danger to human health and the environment.

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Europe continues to phase out substances harmful to the ozone layer under the Montreal Protocol

Overall efforts to reduce the use of chemicals harming the ozone layer across the European Union continued in 2017 and the EU has already achieved its goals on the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol, according to the latest data released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Air pollution: agriculture and transport emissions continue to pose problems in meeting agreed limits

Emissions from agriculture and transport continue to pose problems for European Union Member States in meeting EU and United Nations air pollution limits, according to updated data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today. While emissions of most air pollutants remain on a downward trend, ammonia emissions continued to rise in 2016.

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