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What can be done to combat air pollution in Europe?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: A study by ISGlobal identified the predominant sources of air pollution in over 800 cities across Europe, revealing home heating as the main contributor, followed by agriculture, industry, transport, and shipping, with specific priorities varying by location
• The research underscores the urgent need for structural solutions to mitigate pollution from these diverse sources, while also highlighting individual actions that can contribute to cleaner air

🔭 The context: The pollution in question consists primarily of PM2.5 particles, microscopic particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream, causing severe health problems
• Different regions in Europe have different primary sources of pollution; for example, in north-west Europe, agriculture dominates, while in central Europe and northern Italy, transport is the leading source

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: The high levels of pollution from various sources affect both environmental and human health, showcasing the critical need for sustainable practices and reforms in sectors like agriculture and industry
• The study emphasizes the need for structural solutions, addressing each source and introducing individual measures that can help reduce pollution levels

⏭️ What's next: For substantial environmental improvement, immediate sustainable reforms are crucial in agriculture, industry, city design, and energy, focusing on eco-friendly practices, clean energy, enhanced public transport, and stricter pollution regulations in shipping

💬 One quote: “Solid fuel burning results in extreme air pollution events... The obvious solution would be to ban solid fuel burning completely. To make this feasible, houses should be properly insulated for electricity to become a viable alternative.” (Dr Jurgita Ovadnevaite, University of Galway)

📈 One stat: Solid fuel burning for home heating, predominantly in eastern Europe and Italy, is contributing to a health cost estimated at €29bn annually, emphasizing the urgent need for alternative, sustainable heating solutions

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

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