Air Quality

Circular materials 20-04-2021

EU seeks ‘reliable’ method to measure microplastic pollution from tyres

An EU regulation on tyre labelling due to come into force on 1 May will not cover the rate at which tyres shed particles – a major contributor to microplastics in Europe – as an agreed method for the calculation of abrasion is still not in place.
15-04-2021

First lockdown in France improved air quality, avoided thousands of deaths

Several thousands of deaths were avoided due to the reduced emissions of air pollution particles during the first COVID-19 lockdown, the French health agency said on Wednesday (14 April). EURACTIV France reports.
Climate change 23-03-2021

Europe halfway towards closing all coal power plants by 2030

Half of Europe's 324 coal-fuelled power plants have either closed or announced a retirement date before 2030, it emerged on Monday (22 March) when French power utility EDF announced the 162nd plant will close in 2022.
05-03-2021

EU court raps Britain for air pollution

The EU Court of Justice on Thursday (4 March) admonished Britain for air pollution over urban areas including London that "persistently" breached European Union levels for nitrogen-dioxide associated with heavy vehicle traffic.
Future of mobility 04-02-2021

Virus lockdowns caused shift to ‘private mobility’: report

The need to avoid crowded spaces led Europeans to opt for "private mobility modes", such as cycling, walking, and private vehicles, according to the European Mobility Atlas 2021, a report analysing key facts and figures about transport in Europe.
Health 20-01-2021

Reducing air pollution could save 50,000 deaths a year, says new Lancet report

Reducing air pollution to World Health Organisation recommended levels would prevent more than 50,000 deaths a year across European cities, according to a new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal.
19-01-2021

Czech health minister backs coal mining phase-out ‘as soon as possible’

Czech health minister Jan Blatný is aware of the negative impacts of coal mining on the environment and human health. “Personally, I am in favour of a coal mining phase-out as soon as possible,” he told EURACTIV.cz.
Transport 18-12-2020

‘Dieselgate’ defeat devices were illegal, top EU court confirms

The European Court of Justice ruled on Thursday (17 December) that it had been illegal for car companies to install devices to defeat emissions tests and mislead motorists about diesel pollution levels.
23-11-2020

European air quality improves but still detrimental to health

Air quality has improved significantly across Europe over the past 10 years, but pollution still contributes to significant numbers of premature deaths, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
06-11-2020

Air pollution fell, plastic use soared during Europe lockdowns

Coronavirus lockdowns in Europe have led to some environmental improvements such as better air quality and lower carbon emissions, but they are temporary and coupled with a surge in single-use plastic, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said Thursday (5 November).
Transport 26-10-2020

Aircraft air quality and transport’s virus-risk in focus

Air quality on flights is due to improve if the European Union agrees to back new safety standards. The fresh push for cleaner air comes as transport companies struggle to convince passengers their services are low risk in the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. 
Climate change 14-10-2020

EU strategy is failing to tackle the biggest methane emitter: agriculture

No reduction targets, no mandatory actions to cut methane emissions at farm level, no coherence with existing climate and air quality objectives: these are some reasons why the European Commission’s Methane Strategy will fall short, writes Margherita Tolotto.
10-10-2020

Polish children exposed to four times more pollution than French, study finds

Polish children are significantly more exposed to air pollution than French children, research by the University of Hasselt in Belgium has found.
08-09-2020

In EU, 1 in 8 deaths linked to pollution: report

In the EU, 13 percent of deaths are linked to pollution, said a new report published on Tuesday (8 September) by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which stressed the current pandemic put environmental health factors in the spotlight.
Transport 01-09-2020

Greater EU powers to catch and fine emissions cheats kick in

New EU rules on monitoring the vehicles on Europe’s roads come into force on Tuesday (1 September), granting the European Commission added powers to police car emissions and take to task any manufacturers that breach the law.
Shipping 24-08-2020

A roadmap to cut shipping emissions in the Mediterranean

An emission control area for sulphur oxides in the Mediterranean is not a panacea, but it would open new possibilities for the region’s future while contributing to its health, writes Gaetano Leone.
Transport 26-06-2020

Europe’s car emissions spiked again in 2019, warn new stats

Europe's average CO2 emissions from passenger cars increased again in 2019, according to the EU's environment agency, marking the third consecutive year that the statistics have trended upwards.
10-06-2020

Number of German cities with poor air quality more than halved in 2019

Air quality in Germany is getting better. Last year, only 25 instead of 57 cities exceeded the limit values for nitrogen dioxide. However, experts are warning this is based on short-term effects and suggest now is the time to rethink transport. EURACTIV Germany reports.
05-06-2020

Lifting the haze: Why air pollution action doesn’t stop at cars

As Germany faces a national lawsuit on air pollution, Ugo Taddei asks: should other countries worry?
Transport 03-06-2020

Car emissions spike, as countries plan ‘cash for clunkers’ redux

Europe’s average CO2 emissions from new cars and vans increased again in 2018, according to data released on Wednesday (3 June) by the EU’s environment agency. National plans aimed at stimulating the sector could worsen those figures further.
Transport 25-05-2020

Germany’s top court says VW must pay damages to customers

Germany's highest court ruled on Monday (25 May) that Volkswagen must pay damages to plaintiffs in the diesel emissions scandal, who can now demand a refund of the purchase price. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Future of mobility 25-05-2020

Four cities call for multi-billion-euro clean bus fund

The European Commission has been urged by to set up a multi-billion euro grant scheme for zero-emission buses and to help cities build new cycle paths, as part of the EU’s coronavirus recovery package.
Future of mobility 08-05-2020

How to keep cities pollution-free after virus lockdowns lift

As authorities across Europe prepare for a stepwise lift of coronavirus lockdown measures, they are facing a make-or-break moment for urban mobility. Yoann Le Petit details four proven strategies that should keep cities free of pollution as normality starts to return.
Shipping 30-04-2020

Europe should not give cruising a blank cheque

The US has shut out the cruise industry from its $2 trillion pot of bailout money but in Europe, everything is still up for grabs. It should not be given a blank cheque, writes Sönke Diesener.