Air quality Eurobarometer: stricter policies needed on pollution

air quality eurobarometer
© iStock/TomasSereda

A new Eurobarometer survey has found that more than two thirds of EU residents believe additional measures should be taken to improve air quality.

The survey was conducted through interviews with 27,565 European residents across all 28 EU Member States in September 2019. 71% of respondents said the EU must introduce further policy measures and strategies to address issues pertaining to air quality across the bloc; and 38% indicated that they would like the opportunity to express their views on the implementation of these measures. 44% of EU residents identified stricter pollution controls applied to industrial processes as the single most effective method of improving air quality: this was the most frequently raised proposal in 25 Member States.

54% of the Europeans surveyed said they did not feel informed on issues surrounding air pollution in their home country, although this proportion differed widely between Member States: only 18% of Finnish respondents said they were uninformed over air quality, while in Portugal 75% felt uninformed. 58% of respondents overall said they thought the quality of air has deteriorated since 2009; and 70% said they had taken at least one action to reduce emissions.

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: “I am encouraged to see that so many Europeans support action on air quality. In the EU, air pollution causes over 400,000 premature deaths every year; and society pays a huge price including for healthcare, lost work days and damage to crops and buildings. The Commission is providing expertise, best practice exchanges and guidance for Member States and businesses, as well as support for investment and funding to improve air quality for all. But at the same time, if EU laws are not respected, we take legal action against Member States.”

On 28 and 29 November 2019, the European Commission’s Clean Air Forum will take place in the Slovakian capital Bratislava.

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