Proposal for EU Ambient Air Quality Directive released
The proposal for the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive has been released by the European Commission on October 26th, after years of intensive deliberations. While it does not include a clear path towards alignment with the new WHO Air Quality Guidelines yet, it does present a number of important improvements including tighter limit values, average exposure reduction obligations, regular reviews of science, access to information and justice. For the next 18-24 months, the proposal will be the subject of negotiations between the Council and the Parliament and may undergo considerable changes during this process.
ISEE and ERS together want to present and communicate a strong and harmonized voice from science and medicine in this process. To do so, a joint ISEE/ERS working group has been formed that invites everybody to take a close look at the proposal (or parts of it) and send comments on strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The working group aims to develop a draft statement by mid December, before the ministers of the environment of the Member States will have their first discussion of the proposal on Dec 20th. The proposal and the supporting documents can be found here. For more information please contact Barbara Hoffmann or Hanna Boogaard.
Update on Climate Change & Health Activities
The ISEE European Chapter has a strong commitment to amplify and contribute to the climate change research community. Activities conducted this year include the completion of a series of 3 webinars on Climate Change and Health. The recordings of the webinars can be found here.
We have worked closely with the Policy Committee on the following activities: application of COP observer status (awaiting response), ISEE membership to the Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA), and the coordination of our future presence at COP28. Some of our members contributed to the latest IPCC report. For more information on interest in contributing please contact Aina Roca Barcelo.
A successful meeting at the ISEE conference in Athens
ISEE Europe is looking back at a very successful ISEE conference in Athens. And what a joy it was to actually see and hug each other after such a long time! ISEE Europe organized a successful early morning session, together with the Health Effects Institute. The session “Air Pollution and Health: The Case of Central and Southeast Europe” examined the status of current epidemiological evidence on the health effects of air pollution in Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece and served to identify research gaps as well as opportunities for research and collaboration. We continue our work to foster more research in environmental epidemiology in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and are planning an in-person meeting next year. Please contact Tamara Schikowski, Artur Badyda or Zorana Jovanovic Andersen if you want to contribute.
Furthermore, we held a productive lunch meeting for all members from Europe and beyond to talk about the Chapter’s current and future activities. Several suggestions were made, including continued engagement in HERA-like projects, to shape the environmental health research agenda in the EU. Furthermore, strategies to provide key input into the EU process revising the air quality directive for Europe were discussed and ways to raise the profile of research on health effects of noise, among others. Please join us if you want to contribute to your chapter’s activities, email Hanna Boogaard and Petter Ljungman.
ISEE European chapter elections and new associate members
We had a fresh round of elections to the ISEE Europe Executive Council in early fall and are excited to share the results! We welcome the newly elected ISEE Europe Council Member Carla Ancona from the Department of Epidemiology, Regione Lazio, Italy, as well as the re-elected Council Member Ana Vicedo Cabrera, University of Bern, Switzerland.
We would like to thank Philippa Douglas for her service as an associate member and Bénédicte Jacquemin, who rotates off as an elected member, but will stay involved as an associate member. We also welcome the following new associate members: