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EU Clean Air Programme for Europe, out now!

On 18 December 2013, the European Commission presented a new “Clean Air Programme for Europe” and proposed a revised national emissions ceiling directive and a new directive on establishing emission limits for medium combustion plants.

The long-term objective of the EU’s air quality policy is “to achieve levels of air quality that do not result in unacceptable impacts on, and risks to, human health and the environment.” Despite past successes in drastically reducing some air pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, however, the EU still has some way to go in achieving this goal. The Commission in 2011 ordered a thorough review of existing air quality policy to assess its effectiveness and propose new measures and targets. Studies suggest that as recently as 2010, more than 400.000 people across the EU died prematurely from exposure to particulate matter and ozone, making air pollution the single most important environmental cause of premature death in the EU.

The new measures proposed  aims to avoid 58.000 premature deaths by 2030, help safeguard ecosystems from nitrogen pollution and protect forests from acidification. The Commission estimates that the health benefits of these measures will “save society €40-140 billion in external costs and provide about €3 billion in direct benefits due to higher productivity of the workforce, lower healthcare costs, higher crop yields and less damage to buildings”. Increased productivity is expected to “add the equivalent of around 100 000 additional jobs”, thus creating a positive effect for Europe’s economy.

SEFIRA Project will continue to follow the air quality policy process of review and implementation in order to highlight socio-economic implications of individual and collective behaviour for EU Citizens.

Questions and Answers on the new Clean Air Policy Package are available here (PDF):


Clean Air Package webpage:


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Socio Economic implications For Individual Responses to Air Pollution policies in EU +27

SEFIRA has the objective of creating a European coordination of transdisciplinary scientific and socio-economic resources in order to support the review and implementation of air quality legislation by the European Commission (EC) led by DG Environment. SEFIRA will coordinate some of the best scientific and socio-economic resources and will review air quality policies and legislation at the interface between environmental, economic and social sciences in order to achieve a deeper understanding of these complex issues. The main fields involved in the action will be atmospheric sciences, environmental and legal sociology, anthropology, geography and economics.