Headline: IASS Survey Asks: Do we Need New Tools in the Fight against Air Pollution?

Air pollution and climate change are often perceived as separate issues with different causes and effects. The legislature also deals with them in isolation from each other: in Germany, the federal states and local authorities are often responsible for managing air pollution, while climate change is an issue on the national and international agenda. But air pollution and climate change are in fact inextricably linked. That’s why it’s important to elaborate comprehensive measures that help to reduce emissions of both greenhouses gases and air pollutants.

Yet, how can we develop such an integrative approach and what could support the decision-making process? In collaboration with the European Environment Agency, the IASS is currently carrying out an online survey, which is targeted especially at employees of public authorities and NGOs. The survey aims to gather information on the level of awareness of the links between air quality and climate change and assess participants’ openness for using an interactive tool in decision-making, which can show, among other things, the effects of traffic measures on air quality and climate change.

“Similar tools already exist, but they usually only deal with individual issues such as air quality measures and don’t take account of how they are linked to other phenomena such as climate change”, explains the atmospheric scientist Erika von Schneidemesser from the IASS, who is coordinating the survey. Together with her colleagues, she wants to find out if it makes sense to develop a new, more comprehensive tool. “By carrying out this survey, we want to ascertain whether the respondents would be willing to integrate such tools into the decision-making process and what they would expect from them.” The researchers have invited about 1,000 employees of city administrations and other institutions in Europe to take part in the survey. The evaluation of the survey results will begin in mid-February.


Photo: (c) istock