Air quality in Europe — 2015 report

Air pollution is a very important environmental and social issue and, at the same time, it is a complex problem posing multiple challenges in terms of management and mitigation. Air pollutants are emitted from anthropogenic and natural sources; they may be either emitted directly or formed in the atmosphere; they have a number of impacts on health, ecosystems, the built environment and the climate; they may be transported or formed over long distances; and they may affect large areas. Effective action to reduce the impacts of air pollution requires a good understanding of its causes, how pollutants are transported and transformed in the atmosphere, and how they impact on humans, ecosystems and the climate. Effective air quality policies call for action and cooperation on global, European, national and local levels, which extends across most economic sectors and which engages the public. Holistic solutions involving technological development, structural changes, including the optimisation of infrastructures and urban planning, and behavioural changes must be found.

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