The European Litter Prevention Association

Eco-innovation for air quality, Sofia February 2018

17 December 2017

The European Commission is organising the 21st European Forum on Eco-innovation in Sofia on 5 and 6 February 2018, in collaboration with the Bulgarian Environment Ministry. The objective of the gathering is to identify new ways to boost air quality in Europe, notably, through the deployment of new technologies for household heating, implementation of strategic urban mobility plans, or pioneering ways to reduce pollution from farming practices, among others.

Air pollution is the leading cause of premature deaths in the EU, with estimates putting the yearly figure at around 400,000. Air pollution is also responsible for the respiratory and cardiovascular diseases that affect millions of Europeans. As with litter prevention, tackling air pollution requires joint action from all parts of society.

The EU has set in place European-wide limits on the presence of certain particles in the air through different legal instruments since the 1980s, but more needs to be done. The Commission hopes that product and service innovation will play an important role in this regard.

Innovators, from both the private and public sector, will explore this potential during the two-day meeting in Sofia. The draft conference agenda is available here.

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Bulgaria will play a key role in setting the EU agenda in the next sixth months as it takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and chairs the regular gatherings of EU ministers on such topics as the EU’s environment policy and new initiatives for cleaner air throughout Europe.