6.4 Air quality in cities; solutions and synergies with Climate Action
The negative effects of poor air quality are most distinctly felt in urban areas. Almost three quarters of the EU’s population live in urban areas and many economic activities are concentrated in or close to urban areas. Three out of ten EU citizens are exposed to particulate matter concentrations above the EU limit value and nine out of ten to concentrations above the World Health Organisation guidelines.
The most important sources of local air pollution are transport and the use of coal or wood for residential heating. Solutions to improve air quality in cities are available and many cities already take action. There is however both a need and a potential to achieve more, also with the support of regional and national governments.
As the sources of air pollution and greenhouse gases are often the same, the session focusses on integrated strategies to improve air quality, help mitigate climate change and address further urban challenges like mobility and energy efficiency.