EU Solving Air Pollution
Fighting air pollution – Pure Air for Europe Strategy
Air pollution seriously damages human health and the environment: respiratory problems, premature deaths and damage to ecosystems as a result of the deposition of nitrogen and acidic substances are some of the consequences of this problem which is both local and transfrontier in nature.
The European Union sets objectives for reducing certain pollutants and reinforces the legislative framework for combating air pollution via two main routes:
- improving Community environmental legislation
- integrating air quality concerns into related policies.
The Strategy sets specific long-term objectives (for 2020):
- 47% reduction in loss of life expectancy as a result of exposure to particulate matter;
- 10% reduction in acute mortalities from exposure to ozone;
- reduction in excess acid deposition of 74% and 39% in forest areas and surface freshwater areas respectively;
- 43% reduction in areas or ecosystems exposed to eutrophication (when the environment becomes over enriched with nutrients creating algae).
- To achieve these objectives, SO2 emissions will need to decrease by 82%, NOx emissions by 60%, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by 51%, ammonia by 27%, and primary PM2.5 (particles emitted directly into the air) by 59% compared with the year 2000.