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

Health costs of coal presented in Balkan sustainable energy portal
HEAL’s Health and Energy Officer for the Balkan region highlights the health impacts of coal power in the Western Balkans in the Balkan Green Energy News Portal, an online platform covering sustainable energy stories from the region. Read more…

New subsidy scheme for Turkish coal power plants
A new law has been published in Turkey promoting a subsidy scheme that could threaten health of its citizens and the energy future and environmental regulations of the country. Read more…

News from Turkish DOSAB coal plant planned to be built in Bursa
A new law has been published in Turkey promoting a subsidy scheme that could threaten health of its citizens and the energy future and environmental regulations of the country. Read more…

Read more here

Take action!

- Climate change calls to action


- Europe’s Dark Cloud : How coal-burning countries are making their neighbours sick (Joint report by HEAL, CAN E, WWF Europe and Sandbag)

- HEAL webinar: Climate change through a health lens in Serbia (Serbian)

- Open letters to EU Commission VP Sefcovic and EU Commissioner for Climate Action Canete

- Youtube video: Health professionals in action for Healthy Energy and Climate, 4 December 2015

- Why health concerns should prompt an ambitious Paris package, Outreach magazine, 7 December 2015

- 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

Related HEAL/EFA websites

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

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




- 26: World Environmental Health Day

- 28 - 30: Gastein Health Forum

- 30: World Heart Day

- 18, London, UK: ’A breath of fresh air’ event, UK Health Alliance on Climate Change

- 19: Global Frackdown Day

- 20 - 21: HEAL General Assembly

- 20 - 21, Belgium: EU Heads of State Summit

- 22: Global day of action against coal

- 24 - 27, Strasbourg, France: EP Plenary


- 7 – 18, Marrakech, Morocco: UNFCCC COP22 - HEAL delegation participating

- 9 – 12, Austria, Vienna: European Public Health Conference

- 14: World Diabetes Day

- 16: World COPD Day

- 21: ENVI Working Group on Health - "Exchange of good practice in the field of health promotion and primary prevention"

- 21 – 24, Strasbourg, France: EP Plenary

- 28-29: Vienna, Austria: WHO, 6th meeting of European Environment and Health Task Force, Negotiation of the Conference Declaration/outcomes

Europe’s Dark Cloud: How coal-burning countries are making their neighbours sick analyses for the first time how the harmful dust caused by coal plants travels across borders and the effect this has. It reveals that in 2013 emissions were responsible for over 22,900 premature deaths, tens of thousands of cases of ill-health from heart disease to bronchitis, and up to EUR 62.3 billion in health costs. testimonies

More information here

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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