Following the first EU Clean Air Forum in Paris in 2017, the European Commission organised, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic, a second EU Clean Air Forum on 28 and 29 November 2019.
This Forum focused on four themes: air quality and health; air quality and energy; air quality and agriculture; and clean air funding mechanisms. It brought together around 400 decision-makers, stakeholders and experts on the above topics in a two-day conference to reflect on the development and implementation of effective European, national and local air policies, projects and programmes.
Hashtag for the event on Twitter: #CleanAirEU
At Bratislava City Hall a town hall discussion took place on 27 November, and a panel discussion on ‘The air we breathe: Improving air quality at European, national and local level’
was organised as an official side event (for more information, please visit the side event webpage in English or Slovak).
In the context of the Clean Air Forum, short videos were compiled:
In the context of the Clean Air Forum, also five factsheets have been published:
The following brochures provide further detail:
On 16 and 17 November 2017, the European Commission convened a first EU Clean Air Forum in Paris (France).
This first Clean Air Forum did not only see the launch of the European Clean Air Index, it also concluded with a clear message: solutions to improve air quality are within reach. But to tackle air pollution successfully, we need to work together across economic sectors (transport, energy, agriculture, and industry), across decision-making levels (European, national, regional, and city level), across policy areas (environment, climate and energy, mobility, agriculture, and fiscal policy) and together with citizens. Cleaner air will not only improve the health of citizens, it also makes good economic sense.
More than 300 participants from government, industry, non-governmental organisations and citizens shared their views on improving air quality. More than 30 high-level speakers reflected on the clean air challenge, on actors and action fields and how we can improve synergies between policy actions. Discussions focused on three themes: air quality in cities; air pollution from the agricultural sector; and clean air business opportunities.
Key speakers included Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries; Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs; Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris; Neno Dimov, Minister for the Environment and Water, Bulgaria; Valérie Pécresse, President of the Ile-de-France Region; Winfried Hermann, Minister of Transport, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany; Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor of London; Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency.
The debate acknowledged that the EU already has a comprehensive toolbox to help address the clean air challenge: legislation on air quality standards and national emissions ceilings of air pollutants. It also includes source-specific pollution standards for key pollution sources, as well as best available techniques designed to curb industrial emissions. Boosting the Energy Union, moving towards low-emission mobility and further developing the Common Agricultural Policy can and will help cut air pollution further. The task ahead is to implement these policies and make them work for cleaner air.
To reflect on this further, the European Commission has evaluated the Ambient Air Quality Directives through a Fitness Check – an evidence-based analysis of whether EU clean air rules are fit for purpose and delivering as expected.
Raising awareness among citizens of the air quality challenge is also important. Two tools presented on the occasion of the Clean Air Forum are doing this: The European Environment Agency's 'European Air Quality Index' informs citizens about air quality levels based on data reported by Member States, and an 'Urban PM2.5 Atlas' from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission illustrates the main sources of particulate matter pollution for 150 cities across Europe will make.
A synthesis report with a summary of the presentations and debates that took place over two days of this Clean Air Forum has been published: