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

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