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Clearing the air: research findings on new additions to the EU Air Quality Directive proposal


Publication date
Green Deal Projects Support Office

Watch this webinar to uncover the latest research and thinking on the new pollutants that will be included in the proposed revisions to the EU Air Quality Directive. We get fresh insights from the projects on the sources of these pollutants, the ways in which they are recorded and analysed, and what the air quality standards mean for us all as citizens.

More about the webinar

Over the last two decades in Europe we’ve made huge progress in cleaning up our air as a result of effective air quality policy actions, but there's more to do. 

However, the latest scientific discoveries are now revealing that health problems can occur at lower levels of air pollution than previously thought, as pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), have been shown to lead to both short-term and long-term health problems. As a result, the 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines are under discussion, together with its usage for drafting a new European Union (EU) Air Quality Directive.

The EU is currently planning to update the Ambient Air Quality Directives as part of the European Green Deal. The proposed revisions include regular reviews of air quality standards based on the latest scientific information, with the aim of aligning EU standards more closely with the WHO guidelines, and achieving zero air pollution by 2050. This full alignment with WHO guidelines is now set for 2035.

While the most prevalent PMs in the air have decreased by 50% since 2000, many of these are not directly released into the atmosphere; but are formed from other gases. To study and control these particles, advanced tools for air quality monitoring and modelling are needed.  The EU air quality draft requires member states to monitor various parameters such as:

  • ultrafine particles
  • particle size distribution
  • black carbon
  • ammonia
  • volatile organic compounds and 
  • particle components.

It is therefore important to connect new air quality research with policymakers to set effective monitoring standards and make ongoing improvements.

Watch this webinar to hear directly from air quality researchers on these new air pollutants, how it affects us and what we can do to improve air quality policy.

This webinar aims to:

  • Share knowledge among EU research projects focusing on new pollutants in the proposed EU Air Quality Directive, involving both Green Deal Call (GDC)-funded and non-GDC projects.
  • Highlight to policymakers the latest research on key sources and trends in new pollutants, as well as methods to model and track them. This sets the groundwork for ongoing information exchange.
  • Bring attention to how air quality standards affect citizens and what individuals can do, and have already done, to contribute to policy development.


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Clearing the air GDSO AQ webinar