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Funding clean air in Europe: best practices and hurdles

This online-only workshop examines EU funding for air quality improvements and aims to identify best practices.

Industrial building polluting the air with their chimney





Air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk today in Europe, with reports showing that almost all Europeans breathe in toxic air, which contributes to 300 000 premature deaths per year, along with a wide range of health damage (e.g., heart and respiratory diseases). Europe has made progress in recent decades, but in most parts the air pollution levels are still above legal levels, and therefore well above WHO recommendations.

Air pollution is receiving growing attention, notably since the EU Commission proposed a revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives (2022), a cornerstone of European Union legislation aimed at regulating and improving air quality across Member States. 

In this workshop, we gather different stakeholders to investigate the amount of EU funding available for air quality investments and actions. We also question how these funds are used in practice, and what are the social and political barriers to taking stronger action, with the aim of identifying better practices for future air quality improvement. Our study will focus on a selected group of EU Members, including both countries from Western and Eastern Europe.

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Clean Air Fund for this research workstream.