In spite of the work carried out by the EU institutions, the Member States, many cities and grass-root movements in Europe, the general public is little engaged in air quality policy initiatives and knowledge of the effects of poor air quality on health is not widely available. Likewise, the general public has in some instances a low appreciation and acceptance of the measures adopted to improve air quality (e.g. traffic bans). The general public is often not aware of the impact of personal choices on air pollution and on their own health.
The Partnership has found that differences in the level of awareness of the general public across cities about the negative impacts of pollution on health represent a barrier to the effectiveness of air quality policy measures.
The Partnership identified the following action to tackle the problems:
- Improving cities’ communication strategies by focusing on the benefits brought by clean air for health and well-being, environment and economy, as well as potential of positive side-effects (e.g. less noise, less congestion, greener cities). - Developing a Communication Toolbox for awareness-raising strategies on air quality issues and solutions, organisation of events etc., focusing on an integrated multi-stakeholder approach (European, national, regional, local).- Bringing together educational and information models of awareness-raising campaigns for different stakeholder groups to emphasise shared responsibility for air quality, propose concrete actions, and provide support for bottom-up awareness-raising/knowledge sharing initiatives (e.g. by schools, local businesses, civil society organisations).- Inviting the European Commission, MS and cities to dedicate resources for the development and implementation of communication campaigns.
The leader of this action is the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL).
More details on this action can be found in the Action Plan.