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Upgrading the ambition of EU Air Quality legislation

This session will explore how to translate the zero pollution ambition into the revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives, notably how to align the EU air quality standards more closely with the World Health Organization recommendations. The revised WHO Air Quality Guidelines, anticipated for the first half of 2021, are expected to include updated guideline exposure levels for a number of air pollutants, and in particular for the most harmful fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

Speakers and participants will discuss how to define the right level of ambition in aligning more closely with the revised guidelines, and how improvements to other provisions of the Directives could support more effective action, for instance through provisions on penalties and public information as well as on air quality monitoring, modelling and plans.


  • Vladislav Smrž, Czech Deputy Minister for Environment
  • Javi López, Rapporteur for the European Parliament report on Ambient Air Quality Directives (AAQ Directives)
  • Elke Van den Brandt, Regional minister for mobility, Brussels
  • Alain Maron, Regional minister for environment, Brussels
  • Joanna Drake, Deputy Director-General, Directorate General for Environment, European Commission


High level session
Session 4.1
Start Date
End Date
Main programme
Room 1