The environment is the most heavily regulated area in Europe. Despite this, the concentration of air pollutants in our streets is leading to thousands of premature deaths each year. Harmful noise pollution affects over 100 million Europeans and noise levels are on the increase, with no significant legislative improvements for more than a decade. And, for many cities, growing impacts from climate change and sustainability issues are making it harder to guarantee a healthy freshwater supply.
Cities are taking bold action to fight pollution: promoting cleaner and quieter vehicles, encouraging a shift to alternative modes of transport, sharing evidence on how to efficiently integrate water management, and considering noise reduction as a central element of urban planning.
However, environmental threats like air and water pollution know no borders and cities cannot act alone, which is why they aim to work via coordinated actions across local, national and EU levels of government, as well as across sectors as varied as transport, agriculture, shipping, climate and energy.