Cohesion policy invests in clean air
- Cohesion policy invests in clean air
Investing in air quality for regional development
The Commission’s Clean Air programme : The Commission’s Clean Air programme aims to reduce health impacts of air pollution by half in 2030 compared to 2005. The EU’s air quality objectives rest on maximum concentration levels for harmful substances such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides or particulate matter. Each EU Member State has also committed to national emission reduction targets for the period 2020-29, and more ambitious objectives as of 2030. In addition, source-specific emission targets are included in sectorial legislation (for instance for fuel).
Assessing the contribution of cohesion policy to clean air targets
- Investment categories that are most relevant to reach the clean air objectives are considered fully, with a weight of 100%. These include air quality measures and cycling infrastructures.
- Categories that partially contribute to the achievement of pollution reduction targets are assigned a weight of 40%. These include (among others) railways, renewable energy, household waste management, green infrastructure and measures that promote energy efficiency.
- Following a conservative approach, any other expenditure is not considered as contributing to clean air objectives (weight 0%); in case of doubt, investment categories are attributed to this group.
Investments in clean urban transport contribute most
Member States have different investment preferences
Investment progress can be tracked by Member State
Investments take time to materialize, from planning
through project selection to project implementation. The chart below shows the allocation and the progress by Member State in implementing the investments that contribute to clean air targets. The chart can be filtered by year to see the progress in time.
Examples of relevant actions supported by cohesion policy
Clean urban transport infrastructure and promotion (including
- sustainable, energy-efficient, accessible for all and affordable public transport systems;
- a friendly environment for soft transport modes such as cycling and walking;
- easy access to all neighbourhoods, on foot, by bike, by public transport;
- local transport networks that need to be well connected to regional networks.
Energy efficiency renovation of public buildings, demonstration
projects and other measures
Railways (Trans-European Transport Network - TEN-T)
Further reading and related links
- 2013 Clean Air programme - link to website
- Commission 2020 implementation report on the Directive on national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants (NEC)