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.