Pollution in Europe is a real scourge. It would be responsible for more than 300,000 premature deaths in 2019 according to the EEA, the European environment agency.
If the COP 26 which was recently held in Glasgow were to decide on the new axes of work with regard to ecology, the European environment agency assures that we must act quickly, which recognizes that the situation is alarming. Indeed, if the climate issue affects the whole world, the old continent could seem more or less protected in recent years. Rising sea levels are not a topical problem as it may be the case on Polynesian atolls on the other side of the world, and extreme climatic events, which affect certain regions of Europe, although taken very seriously. seriously, are not yet daily.
Despite everything, global warming, but also pollution, are real scourges in Europe. In its latest report, published very recently, the European agency (EEA) assures that more than 300,000 people lost their lives in 2019 due to fine particle pollution. The latter mainly come from vehicles and are present in varying amounts depending on traffic conditions, especially in large cities where their extreme concentration is the cause of several deaths.
The EEA recalls that these 300,000 deaths occurred on the whole of the European continent, on the territory of the 27 not members of the EU. As such, it explains several disparities between different countries of the Union which are not all affected in the same way. Thereby Poland sadly occupies the top of the ranking with nearly 10% of deaths recorded in its territory. The intensive use of coal is particularly singled out by the European environmental authorities.
An improvement that must continue
Despite its figures which do not give a smile, the EEA wants to be optimistic. She acknowledges that in recent years many efforts have been made by various European countries to reduce this figure. It also notes a drop of more than 10% between its 2018 data and those newly published for 2019.
The EEA also reminds through Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe that “Breathing clean air should be a basic human right”. If everything is not yet done in Europe, the situation would be changing. In the 1990s, the old continent estimated that there were around one million premature deaths annually from fine particle pollution. A figure which would therefore have been divided by three in the space of 20 years.
If these results show that the changes imposed in recent years are bearing fruit. Europe is on the right track and it must continue to do so if it is to achieve its objective set up with the “zero pollution action plan”. The latter aims to reduce the number of pollution-related deaths by 55%.