6.4 Air quality in cities; solutions and synergies with Climate Action
Although poor air quality can be a problem everywhere, the negative effects are most distinctly felt in urban areas. Almost three quarters of the EU’s population live in urban areas and economic activities are to a large extent concentrated in or close to urban areas. Currently, still 3 out of 10 EU citizens are exposed to particulate matter concentrations above the EU limit value and 9 out of 10 to concentrations above the stricter World Health Organisation guidelines.
The most important sources of local air pollution are transport and the use of coal or wood for residential heating. Proven solutions to improve air quality in cities are available and catalogues of measures exist to help cities find them. Many cities are already taking actions, but there is both a need and a potential to achieve more, also with the support of regional and national governments.
The sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases are often the same. This session will focus on integrated, coordinated local strategies to improve air quality, help mitigate climate change and address further urban challenges such as mobility and energy efficiency.