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Premature deaths due to air pollution continue to fall in the EU, more efforts needed to deliver a toxic-free environment

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).

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Average carbon dioxide emissions from new cars registered in Europe decreased by 12% in 2020, final data shows

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

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Vast majority of Europe’s urban population remains exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution

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.

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Emissions from road traffic and domestic heating behind breaches of EU air quality standards across Europe

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.

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Europe’s urban population remains at risk due to levels of air pollution known to damage health

The vast majority of Europe’s urban population is exposed to levels of air pollutants above new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, according to an updated European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis on air quality in Europe released today.

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Cleaner air could have saved at least 178,000 lives across the EU in 2019

Air pollution continued to cause a significant burden of premature death and disease in Europe in 2019. A European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis, published today, shows that improving air quality to the levels recently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) could prevent more than half of the premature deaths caused by exposure to fine particulate matter.

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Industrial air pollution in Europe costs society €277 - €433 billion

Emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from large industrial sites in Europe cost society between €277 and €433 billion, in 2017, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis, published today. About half of the annual cost is caused by just 211 facilities, around 2 % of the largest industrial sites in Europe. The European Green Deal and the Zero pollution action plan are opportunities to improve the situation.

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Air pollution still too high in most EU Member States

Concentrations of key air pollutants remain too high in most European countries. According to the European Environment Agency’s official data, published today, most European Union (EU) Member States exceed at least one or more of the EU’s legal limits for pollutants in ambient air in 2019.

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European Union as a whole stays within air pollutant emission limits in 2019

The European Union (EU) as a whole respected emission ceilings for four key pollutants in 2019, including nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, sulphur dioxide and ammonia, according to a new European Environment Agency briefing. Nevertheless, Member States still need to make deeper cuts in emissions to achieve 2020-29 and 2030 reduction commitments, especially for nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter and ammonia.

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New European city air quality viewer allows you to check long term air pollution levels where you live

Air pollution is a serious problem in many European cities, posing a real risk to health. Today, the European Environment Agency (EEA) launched the European city air quality viewer. You can check how the air quality has been over the past two years in the city where you live and compare it with other cities across Europe.

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Average car emissions kept increasing in 2019, final data show

Average emissions from new passenger cars in Europe increased for the third consecutive year in 2019, reaching 122.3 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (g CO2/km), according to the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) final data. Data about newly registered vans show a stable trend. New EEA data set baseline for emission reductions in heavy-duty vehicles.

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Schools across Europe share results of their air quality projects

More than 100 schools from 8 European countries participated in the citizen science CleanAir@School inititative, organised by the European European Agency (EEA) and the European Network of the Heads of Environmental Protection Agencies. The results of the initiative, published today, describe how schoolchildren measured pollution levels, learned about air quality and promoted actions for cleaner air.

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National measures to cut air pollution would benefit from stronger links with climate action

European Union (EU) Member States report on their policies and measures to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions separately. A European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing, published today, reveals that Member States identify links to climate action in about one third of their reported actions planned to reduce air pollution.

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Use of climate-warming fluorinated gases continues to drop across EU

Demand for and use of climate-warming fluorinated gases continues to drop across the European Union, according to the latest annual update of EU progress in phasing down the use of F-gases, published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Industry is substituting these F-gases with more climate-friendly products.

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Marked improvement in Europe's air quality over past decade, fewer deaths linked to pollution

Better air quality has led to a significant reduction of premature deaths over the past decade in Europe. However, the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) latest official data show that almost all Europeans still suffer from air pollution, leading to about 400,000 premature deaths across the continent.

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COVID-19 measures have mixed impacts on the environment

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions imposed to fight the spread of the disease have provided some short-term positive impacts on Europe’s environment, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today. These include temporary improvements in air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower levels of noise pollution. However, the assessment also stresses that there have been negative consequences such as increased use of single-use plastics, and that ways out of the pandemic should focus on reshaping our unsustainable production and consumption systems to achieve long-term environmental benefits.

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Moving towards zero pollution in Europe

What is pollution and how does it affect us and the environment? Europe is taking action to reduce pollution and, as part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission put forward a zero-pollution ambition for Europe. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today, looks at the pollution challenge in Europe from different angles as well as opportunities to clean up and prevent pollution.

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Tackling pollution and climate change in Europe will improve health and well-being, especially for the most vulnerable

Air and noise pollution, the impacts of climate change such as heatwaves, and exposure to dangerous chemicals cause ill health in Europe. Poor quality environments contribute to 13 % (one in every eight) of deaths according to a major assessment on health and environment released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Emissions of most harmful air pollutants dropped in 2018, marking EU progress under UN Convention

Emissions of the five most harmful air pollutants, including particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and ammonia (NH3) reduced across the European Union between 2017 and 2018 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 Air Convention (Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution - CLRTAP).

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EU met air pollution limits for four key pollutants, including ammonia, in 2018

In 2018, the European Union met all air pollution limit ceilings set for total emissions of the four key pollutants monitored under EU rules. Emissions of ammonia levelled off after five years of increases, according to updated data released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today.

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