Europe and Central Asia
11 Apr 2013

Innovative solutions to bring clean air back into cities and their ports

By BirdLife Europe

Air pollution threatens climate, environment and human health. Each year approximately 500,000 people die prematurely from the direct consequences of poor air quality throughout the European Union. NABU (BirdLife in Germany), in collaboration with eight European green NGOs, has launched a tree year project aiming at developing concrete measures and solutions for a cleaner air in European ports and cities. The timing is perfect since clean air is the focus of EU environmental policy discussions throughout 2013, the European Year of Air. Despite existing legislative framework continued air pollution remains a problem in many European cities and the limits for air pollution set by the EU are constantly exceeded. Pollution is especially high in port areas, not only because emissions from ship fuels are dirtier than road fuels but also because ports are mostly exempted from control measures. However, cost-effective solutions exist and have proven to be effective. Examples from around the world show ports can foster a better air quality without having economic disadvantages to trade. The EU LIFE+ project Clean Air will focus on the most polluted city areas – the ports, with the expectation of impacting positively on the rest of the cities they belong to. To reach their goal project partners will have to encourage the networking between ports on clean air issues, and to develop ecological standards for European ports. On that purpose, partners will collect and discuss possible measures, compile best-practice-examples and debate local barriers, challenges and opportunities with experts and stakeholders. It’s time to take action for a better air quality throughout Europe - Support our project!

Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.