This article discusses the detrimental effect air pollution has caused in European countries. In urban Europe air pollution has become one of the leading causes of premature deaths. According to the European Environment Agency, in the year 2013 Spain estimated 29,980 premature deaths due to air pollution. This number is a significant decrease compared to the 33,200 deaths related to air pollution in the year 2012. These high numbers of air polluted related deaths are already uncomfortably large, causing cities to consider alternatives in order to decrease the amount of people exposed to such pollutants. Data collected in 2014 by the World Health Organization, of cities across Europe determined that 85% of urban cities were being exposed to fine particulate matter, found mainly in the burning of fossil fuels. Because of this we have seen an increase in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Taking this into consideration, the European Environment Agency has been collecting data regarding levels of air pollution in major cities in Europe and comparing them throughout the years. Showing that between 2000 and 2014, cities that were being monitored showed a decrease in air pollution levels due to the governments hand in discovering a solution. The main example provided of efforts done in order to improve air quality in highly polluted cities is seen in Madrid, Spain. The city banned non-residents driving into the city, and lowered the speed limit when pollution levels were getting too high; both solutions to decrease the amount of fossil fuels being burned within the city limits.