European Parliament’s Commitment to Cleaner Air by 2035

In a bold and dynamic move last month, the European Parliament took a significant step toward addressing air pollution and ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment for European citizens. The vote, which saw 363 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in favor, 226 against, and 46 abstentions, resulted in the adoption of a revised law aimed at improving air quality in the European Union (EU).

Data Holds the Key

While the alignment of EU air quality standards with the recommendations set by the World Health Organization (WHO) is indeed great news and very welcome, it’s crucial to recognise that the WHO emphasises the pivotal role of data in the global fight against air pollution.

To go one step further and truly make a difference, we must adopt an innovative and scientific approach, a hybrid strategy that combines the monitoring ‘supersites’ with an additional layer of street-level air quality data in real time provided by AirScape’s dense sensor network. The WHO’s recent guidance underscores the importance of comprehensive data collection and management.

MEPs have rightly emphasised the need to standardise air quality indices across the EU and make air quality information more accessible with hourly updates. Incorporating AirScape’s data into this system aligns with the WHO’s recommendation that every country should have access to reference-grade monitors and multiple methods for a comprehensive air quality management knowledge base.

This data, instantaneously available to the public via, empowers individuals to safeguard their health and advocate for progressive air quality policies, aligning perfectly with the WHO’s call to action for data-driven air quality management.

The European Parliament’s commitment to addressing air pollution is great news, and the alignment with WHO guidelines is a significant step. However, embracing a hybrid approach that combines established monitoring stations with AirScape’s innovative sensor network can further enhance our efforts to achieve cleaner air and a healthier environment.

The Next Steps for Cleaner Air

With the European Parliament’s position now established, attention turns to the European Council, representing national governments. The council will likely define its negotiation position this year, with hopes of reaching a political agreement with the Parliament by mid-next year, ultimately leading to the adoption of the revised Ambient Air Quality Directive (AAQD).

This alignment is set to take effect by 2035, five years later than the initial recommendation put forth by the Environment Committee. While the stricter standards have been welcomed, there is some frustration that it will be over a decade before people can benefit from these improvements.

This move by the European Parliament demonstrates a commitment to addressing the critical issue of air pollution and aligning EU standards with global health recommendations. As we collectively strive for cleaner air and a healthier future, AirScape is proud to be part of the solution.

For further insight, the WHO’s recent statement highlighting the key role of data in tackling air pollution globally is here.

The European Union is preparing to update its Air Quality Directive, slashing the exposure thresholds for NO2 and PM, and bringing them into line with the recent recommendations of the World Health Organization.

This expert opinion, from the most respected voices in the atmospheric chemistry community, recommends that dense networks of low-cost air pollution sensors be included as an integral part of monitoring programs, as the only way to guarantee compliance and protect people.

“This article provides an informed opinion on selected features of the air quality directive that we believe would benefit from a reassessment. The selected features include discussion about

(1) air quality sensors as a part of a hierarchical observation network,

(2) the number of minimum sampling points and their siting criteria, and

(3) new target air pollution parameters for future consideration.”

Opinion: Insights into updating Ambient Air Quality
Directive 2008/50/EC

They argue that the best way to get the job done, the only way, the cheapest way, is to install high density sensor networks across high population density areas in Europe.

AirScape provides street-level air quality data in real time. By supplementing the existing monitoring stations, we help cities come into compliance with the coming revisions to the EU exposure limits.