EEA publishes briefing on managing air quality in Europe

22 February 2022

Article: 56/706

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a briefing which reviews the status of 944 air quality plans reported to them between 2014 and 2020, covering 21 EU member states, as well as Norway and the UK.

The briefing contains a number of key findings.

  • Most air quality plans explicitly aim to protect health, with the majority focusing on reducing levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and coarse particulate matter (PM10).
  • 64% of all exceedances reported were linked to emissions from road traffic, which was the main cause of NO2 exceedances.
  • Domestic heating was linked to 14% of all exceedances and was the main cause of PM10 exceedances.
  • Over two-thirds of measures included in air quality plans focused on the transport sector. Only 12% focused on commercial and residential energy sectors linked to domestic heating.
  • Public awareness of air pollution is important for gaining support towards improving air quality. 

Source: EEA, 16 February 2022