In Europe, exposure to particulate matter (PM) decreases the life expectancy of every person by an average of almost 1 year, mostly due to increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and lung cancer (World Health Organisation, 2014).
WHY WE NEED TO ACT
The earth's surface has warmed by about 0.75°C since the 1900s and about 0.4°C since the 1970s. Average global temperatures may rise between 1.1°C and 6.4°C above 1990 levels by the end of this century. More than 30 billion tonnes of CO2 are emitted globally each year by burning fossil fuels (Committee on Climate Change, 2014).
Air pollution is hugely harmful to our health, particularly those who suffer with respiratory problems such as Asthma.
Air pollution causes damage to plants and animals, affecting biodiversity and crop yields. It can also pollute areas of water creating ocean acidification, ecosystem damage and polluted freshwater supplies.
(Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).