Summer 2023 Newsletter
Clean Air in Europe for All
The Europe Chapter has been heavily involved in activities associated with the ongoing revisions of the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive (AAQD). The European Commission’s proposal includes important steps to achieve cleaner air but falls short of what is ultimately needed to maximize public health benefits. ISEE and European Respiratory Society (ERS) call for more ambition and a clear path in the AAQD toward complete alignment with the 2021 WHO Air Quality Guidelines by 2030. The full Commentary was published recently in Environmental Epidemiology and can be found here.
On May 24, 2023 ISEE Europe co-hosted a meeting in Brussels, Belgium with ERS and the Health Effects Institute (HEI) to discuss air pollution and health across Europe. The meeting successfully convened European, national and local policy makers and scientists to discuss the recently proposed revisions to the AAQD. Scientific and policy discussions included health effects at low levels of exposure, the relative contributions of different sources or constituents, best practice examples of successful air quality interventions, and ultimately the question of how to maximize health benefits for everyone in Europe and beyond. Further aims of this meeting include giving a platform to the specific air pollution issues and solutions in Southeastern and Eastern Europe—a region in Europe that is underrepresented and where the environmental health issues are vast. Another important aspect of this meeting was building alliances with other scientific and medical societies (specifically the European Society of Cardiology and the European Cancer Organization) to ensure a stronger voice for clean air. Slides and video recordings from the meeting are now available.
ISEE Europe has organized two well attended and appreciated training sessions in Spring 2023 teaming up with Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and European Environment Bureau (EEB) involved in promoting environmental health to improve our communications and understanding of the decision-making process in the EU to help us identify effective ways to bring the science to the decision makers.
ISEE Europe activities associated with the ongoing revisions of the AAQD will continue since the proposal is currently under consideration by both the European Parliament and the Council; hence there is still ample opportunity to influence those processes. Please reach out to Barbara Hoffmann if you want to contribute to those activities.
EU ENVI Committee votes in support of strict new EU clean air standards
ISEE is delighted that the members of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee of the European Parliament have voted in support of the ambitious new EU clean air standards on the 27th of June by adopting the report of Javi Lopez. This is a strong signal demonstrating bold political will in the ENVI Committee, under leadership of Javi Lopez, rooted in the science and evidence on air pollution health effects and public demand for healthy air. This is also a major step towards cleaner air and improved health in Europe, that needs to be endorsed by the upcoming European Parliament plenary. More information on the vote can be found here.
Upcoming ISEE Europe Elections – Are you up for a Challenge?
This fall, we will have three vacancies on our ISEE Europe Council, and we are seeking up to six candidates to stand in the election. We encourage to expand participation from Southeastern and Eastern Europe.
Please contact Hanna Boogaard for more information.
Climate Action Makes Dollars and Sense for Health
The Policy Committee of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), with contributions from the ISEE Europe chapter, has developed a short Policy Brief for distribution to the Parties at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June 2023, a critical meeting on the path to COP28.
‘Climate Action Makes Dollars and Sense for Health’ highlights the potential for climate action to not only mitigate climate change but also benefit public health. The Policy Brief outlines why negotiations should have health in their arguments, and can be found here. Want to help spread the word? Share the statement with your networks and Tweet about it!
ISEE at COP28 — Bringing health to the conversationThe date of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 28 (COP28) is scheduled for November 30th to December 12th, 2023, in Abu Dhabi. ISEE is preparing some activities and communication material to ensure health co-benefits are discussed, and we need your help. Please, let us know whether you plan to attend or are interested in being involved in our COP28 activities by completing this survey (2min).
Do you want to attend but don’t have a delegation yet? In the link you can find information about admitted NGOs and societies. We suggest that you reach out to them to see if they have available spots. If you need further information, please contact Kellin Slater.
ISEE and ERS respond to wildfires in Canada and high air pollution levels in Northeast USA
ISEE and ERS have issued a joint statement in response to the Canadian wildfires and unprecedented air pollution episodes in New York and most of the Northeastern USA, reminding us of the close links between climate change and air pollution and demanding immediate action to curb the health impact of climate change. More information on the state ment can be find on the ISEE and ERS websites
ISEE Europe Young and Early Career Conference 2024
We are happy to announce that the next ISEE Europe Young and Early Career Conference will be held in June 2024 in Rennes, France. Exact dates and more information will be provided soon. We will be happy to welcome you in this nice city!