Your practical guide to EU air quality law

Your practical guide to EU air quality law

Our right to clean air is enshrined in EU law. In fact, air pollution was one of the first environmental issues tackled by the EU.

However up to one-third of the EU urban population is still exposed to air pollution which exceeds legal limits that should have been met by 2010: 17 EU Member States are in breach of limits for particulate matter pollution (PM10) and 22 breach nitrogen dioxide limits. The UK itself is unlikely to comply fully with legal limits until 2025.

This has a major impact on human health. Air pollution is recognised as the world’s largest environmental health risk causing over 400,000 premature deaths each year in the EU and 29,000 in the UK alone.

In theory, under EU law citizens in those Member States could go to court to demand that action is taken by national governments to clean our air. In reality, this is a difficult undertaking. Our Clean Air Handbook has been created to give people across Europe a straightforward, easy to use guide to EU air quality law.

Based on our knowledge and experience of advocating for healthy air and our legal case against the UK Government, the handbook provides an overview of the relevant aspects of EU law. It also offers practical tips on how they can be used to fight for clean air, including how to make a freedom of information request, whether you are a concerned citizen, an experienced campaigner or an environmental lawyer.

Share this...
Share on Facebook! Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn! Email!

Related articles

More from

  • aerial view of city and road for story saying Climate litigation blind date brings scientists and lawyers together

    Climate litigation blind date brings scientists and lawyers together

    Lawyers and scientists met in London to discuss climate litigation, the challenges it poses for both disciplines, and how they could work together.

  • upwards view blue sky highrise building

    Spotlight on auditors over climate risk reporting

    Lawyers say auditors must now understand the implications of climate risk and consider how it affects their own work and advice. There are real and increasing legal risks if they don’t.

  • Scientists and fishermen inspect a catch for a story saying 2018 fishing quotas ignore the science again

    2018 fishing quotas set too high for herring and whiting as ministers continue to ignore science

    Overfishing remains a serious threat to European seas and to industry, as EU ministers once again set many quotas with little regard for science or the law.

  • hands holding cocoa beans

    Helping create a model of community forestry in the Republic of Congo

    Our Forests Law and Policy Advisor, Tanja Venisnik, talks about our current work in Congo, including community forestry and a field mission to the Sangha region.

  • Follow us

    You can help

    Your support helps us use the law to protect your environment.