Air quality

Each year, 500,000 Europeans die prematurely from air pollution
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Air pollution has many severe effects on human health and the environment. Each year millions suffer from poor health as a result of bad air quality, both indoors and outdoors. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

News on our policy work

MEPs stand up for citizens’ health in air quality vote
HEAL welcome’s last month’s EU Parliament Plenary vote on air quality, putting citizens’ interests and wishes first. Member States should take this prompt for their upcoming exchange in December’s Environment Council. Read more…

Plans to build new Polish Leczna coal plant abandoned
GDF Suez Energy Poland, which is part of the French energy company ENGIE, announced that it would not go ahead with building the Leczna coal-fired power plant in south-eastern Poland. A recent HEAL assessment showed that the future plant would lead to high health costs. Read more…

Health groups call to end fossil fuel subsidies
On 14 November, civil society organisations from all over the world, including HEAL, issued an urgent call to end all public financing for fossil fuels. HEAL works closely with Turkish health groups, and the call came on the eve of the G20 leaders Summit in Turkey. Read more…

On the road to COP21
HEAL will be in Paris in a few weeks for the international climate negotiations, with an official delegation and side events. Don’t forget to register for the Climate and Health Summit on 5 December, where HEAL is the local organising partner, and sign up to WHO’s Call to Action. Read more…

Read more here

Take action!

- Join Our Climate our Health

- Stop Funding Fossil Fuels

- SEE Change Net petition for Energy for the long run


- Coal Atlas by Heinrich Boll Stiftung and Friends of the Earth International includes HEAL figures

- Healthy Energy Initiative - Health Impacts of Energy Choices - A Briefing Paper for the Health Community

- Healthy Energy Initiative - From Extraction to Renewal: A Global Campaign for Healthy Energy

- HEAL Webinar series COP21 – Recordings

- Statement on air, coal and health in SerbiaEnglish

- The Unpaid Health Bill – How coal power plants in Turkey make us sick – English - Turkish

- New brochure for patients in Poland on health impacts of air pollution

- Briefing highlighting the heavy toll on health resulting from exposure to poor air quality in Turkey (available in English and Turkish)

- Three briefings highlighting the heavy toll on health resulting exposure to poor air quality in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro.

- Air pollution sources and health problems (PL)

- Brochure on domestic coal combustion in Poland

- Joint position paper on CO2 standards for power plants (EPS)

- Know your air for health website: English - German - Italian

- HEAL and EU ESCAPE patient information leaflets: Air quality and heart and lung health



- Global Frackdown Month

- 23 – 26, Strasbourg, France: EP Plenary

- 24: HEAL webinar (in Polish) on smog, air pollution and health

- 24 – 25, Paris, France: 6th Environment and Health French national congress on Climate Change and Health– HEAL speaking

- 27: HEAL webinar on Mercury and Health (in Serbian) - Registrations open

- 30 – 11, Paris, France: UNFCCC COP21 climate negotiations


- 4, Paris France: HEAL side event, “Health professionals in action for Healthy Energy and Climate” in collaboration with Conseil National de l’Ordre des Médecins (CNOM), World Medical Association, COP21

- 5, Paris, France: Global Climate and Health Summit

- 9, Paris, France: HEAL UNFCCC COP21 side event in collaboration with Monaco and WHO Europe

- 16, Brussels, Belgium: Meeting of the EU Environment Ministers

- 14 - 17, Strasbourg, France: EP Plenary

The Unpaid Health Bill: How coal power plants make us sick presents the first-ever economic assessment of the health costs associated with air pollution from coal power plants in Europe as well as testimonies from leading health advocates, medical experts and policy makers on why they are concerned about coal.

The report develops recommendations for policy-makers and the health community on how to address the unpaid health bill and ensure that it is taken into account in future energy decisions.

For a brief summary of the report see HEAL’s coal and health postcard

More information here

Learn more about HEAL’s views and policy work on Air quality

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Diana Smith

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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