Individual citizen’s right to clean air

State liability for health damage caused by air pollution

An opinion of the European Justice Court (EJC) published in May within a vote of the Advocate General defines under which conditions and criteria individual citizens can claim damages from the state. The following three primary conditions apply:

1. The limit values laid down in the EU directive have been exceeded

2. The violation of this directive must be qualifiable and reproachable, i.e., no effective air pollution control plans were drawn up and implemented despite the limit values being exceeded

3. A causal connection between the qualified violation of the directive and the damage to health that occurred must be proven – in this case, however, it could be sufficient that the injured party spent a sufficiently long time in an environment for which the limit values were exceeded. Read more

World Environment Day 2022

World Environment Day has been celebrated since 5 June 1972. On this day, the first World Environment Conference was held in Stockholm and World Environment Day was officially established by the United Nations Environment Programme. In the meantime, the day has gained international significance, as it is formally commemorated in over 150 countries. Germany has also been participating since 1976. Environment Day aims to raise awareness of human’s responsibility for nature, promote the sustainable development of the environment, and actively involve society in the struggle to preserve and improve the environment.

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Hawa Dawa launches area-wide immission register on nitrogen dioxide immissions in Germany

How high are nitrogen dioxide immissions in Germany? Are we making progress with the much-invoked transport, energy, and heat turnaround, the urgent reduction of fossil combustion processes and the elimination of climate-damaging emissions? And – if so – which kind of relief for people, nature and the environment will be the result and at what pace, in which regions? These questions are increasingly occupying politicians, administrators, researchers and citizens. Now Hawa Dawa presents a new approach that leverages multiple advantages of new technologies to enable a higher spatial and temporal resolution of air pollution data. The immission register thus has the potential to form the business intelligence basis for a data-based transport turnaround and climate policy. Read more

ChangeNOW – Transform our education systems to best prepare future generations

At the ChangeNOW event in Paris, many amazing people demonstrated their ideas for coping with environmental challenges and climate change. One of the most inspiring sessions was titled “The Future of Education”: The majority of education systems are still based on the same principles as when they were created over 100 years ago. However, the world has changed and continues to evolve. We need to transform our education systems to best prepare future generations to meet these new challenges.

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Climate Justice – a topic no longer to be ignored

One of the most urgent aspects of climate action is environmental justice. At the ChangeNOW event in Paris, an entire session was dedicated to the fact that the people, who have the least impact on climate change, are the ones who are impacted the most – as the moderator, Lovelda Vincenzi, put it. The panel‘s discussion was around that the climate urgency is a global crisis, but its effects are not felt evenly around the world. The least polluting populations are the worst affected by climate change. International changemakers and political leaders must protect the rights of the most vulnerable and ensure the burdens of climate change are shared equally and fairly.

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Tipping Points in Detail | Melting Ice (Ep 3/3)

We see pictures of emaciated polar bears every day and pity their fate – they are a living example of the sad reality in the Arctic. Yes, we pity them, but we often don’t realise that the melting of Arctic ice is just as damaging to us as it is to them.

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Tipping Points in Detail | Ocean Currents (Ep 2/3)

Nature can be imagined like a human body. It is an arbitrarily complex system – everything is interconnected and in constant exchange. If one variable gets out of balance, the whole system can collapse. This is also the case with our oceans, the largest ecosystem covering over 70% of our planet.

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Tipping Points in Detail | Amazon Rainforest (Ep 1/3)

We have already reported on tipping points and their properties in a previous blog post. What they are and what significance they already have for our environment. Since we would like to report in more detail about tipping points, we are dedicating a separate series to this topic – “Tipping Points in Detail”. In the first blog post of the 3-part series, we would like to bring you a little closer to the topic of the Amazon Rainforest. In the second part, we will talk about ocean currents and their importance for the animal and plant world and the effects on us humans. In the third and last part of our series, we will highlight the ice melt at the polar ice caps and some local glaciers.

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European Environment Agency presents the report on the state of air quality

In its report published in April, the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents air pollution levels by pollutant in 2020 and 2021. Pollutant concentrations are presented in relation to EU air quality standards and WHO guidelines. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already adjusted its recommendations significantly downwards in autumn 2021, considering the latest research findings on air pollution-related health risks. Read more

Earth Day 2022 – get active now!

This year’s „Earth Day“, officially named „Mother Earth Day“, is the first one celebrated within the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Ecosystems support all life on Earth. The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part.

We will share a couple of initiatives that try to activate all of us by using new approaches. Read more