Air quality in Europe has improved over the past decades. However, each year about 400,000 people die prematurely according to EEA reports. In addition, the EEA recognizes a link between air pollution and the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Our conference takes place at a critical time: Shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic in Europe, which still dictates our daily lives and continues to cause economic turmoil, the European Commission presented the “Green Deal for Europe”, increasing the ambition of its climate and environmental policies for the coming decades. At the same time we have to recognize that even existing targets – be it with regard to CO2 mitigation or air quality – are not being met in many instances.
It was our great pleasure to welcome Prof. Barbara Hoffmann, from the University of Dusseldorf, and Dr. Alexandra Schneider, based at the Helmhotz Centre Munich, as speakers at our conference. They present the latest scientific results on the health impacts of even low levels of air pollution and insights about the role of air pollution in times of COVID. We are also very grateful to contributions from Mark Nieuwenhuijsen from ISGlobal and Christer Agren from the Air Pollution and Climate Secretariat. At the end, a joint discussion follows.
- Welcome: Barbara Metz, Deputy Federal Managing Director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V.
- Prof. Dr. med. Barbara Hoffmann: MPH Head of the Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology University of Düsseldorf: Health Effects of Air Pollution Below Current Limits - Chances for Effective Health Protection
- Dr. Alexandra Schneider: Head of the Research Group 'Environmental Risks' Helmholtz Zentrum München: Air Pollution and SARS-CoV-2 Infections
- Mark Nieuwenhuijsen: Barcelona ISGlobal, Institute for Global Health, Research Professor, Director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative, and Director of the Air pollution and Urban Environment Program
- Christer Agren: Air Pollution Expert, Air Pollution and Climate Secretariat, Sweden
- Moderation: Jens Müller, Transport & Environment