Where we will solve this challenge
Check out the map to see all the cities that face similar challenges in this area!
How do we decrease air pollution?
More than 80% of people living in urban areas are exposed to poor air quality. Reducing air pollution should be a priority to all cities, not just for decreasing the negative effects of climate change, but for citizens’ health as well.
Air pollution and problems caused by it are increasingly common, and we need new solutions to monitor emissions. Fast urbanisation and expanding industry further complicate these challenges. Expensive reference class air quality stations that are large and require a lot of maintenance are no longer necessarily applicable, because air quality may vary a great deal within a small area and thus information is needed from several different measuring points.
According to the EU Commission, around 90 per cent of the population in Europe’s cities is exposed to particulate matter pollution levels that exceed WHO air quality guidelines. Particulate matter is the air pollutant that has the most severe impact on health and originates from motor vehicles, industrial facilities, residential fire places, wood stoves and activities such as power generation and agricultural burning.
The increase in vehicles has been given added urgency by the growing recognition that air pollution – much of it the by-product of emissions from vehicles – significantly impacts public health. Across the world air pollution is estimated to be responsible for more than 4.2 million premature deaths each year. Air pollution is most acutely felt within urban areas.
To deliver against climate targets and positively impact on air pollution requires fundamental changes, specifically to the energy sector, compared with current trends. This fundamental shift implies a strong reduction in the ratio between CO2 emissions and GDP (decarbonisation).