The largest annual conference on European environment policy, ‘Green Week’ (4-7 June), is approaching; it will offer opportunities for debate and exchanges of experience on the topic of air quality/pollution with representatives from the European Commission, NGOS, universities and scientific bodies. “Air quality - taking care of the air we breathe” is available to help journalists cover this topic. It highlights two of the sectors that play a key part in contamination – transport and agriculture – and illustrate the risks, as well as some solutions to reduce polluting emissions.
Global warming is happening. Temperatures have already risen by 0.76 degrees since the industrial revolution and are expected to rise further by 1.8 - 4 degrees by the end of the 21st century. The last time climate change happened at this pace was 125,000 years ago, which led to a 4-6 metre rise in sea levels. Global warming at the upper end of the scale as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would have catastrophic consequences for Europe. Up to 30% of plant, animal and bird species would be wiped out, and the threat of natural disasters such as landslides, floods and mudslides would increase significantly.