HEAL presents views at Clean Air for Europe hearing
At an institutional hearing in Brussels, HEAL presented its view’s on the EU air package. Despite progress being made in the last decades, poor air quality is still a predominant environmental cause of death in the EU.
EU Institutions are currently discussing the Clean Air for Europe package, presented by the EU Commission on 18 December 2013. The proposals include measures to ensure that existing air quality targets are met in the short term, and new air quality objectives for the period up to 2030.
The package updates existing legislation and aims to further lower harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their impact on human health and the environment. It includes a revised National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive with stricter national emission ceilings for the six main pollutants and a proposal for a new Directive to reduce pollution from medium-sized combustion installations.
At a hearing of the European Economic and Social Committee, HEAL’s Deputy Director Anne Stauffer welcomed the Commission proposal, but stressed the need to be more ambitious in the reduction commitments, so as to significantly reduce the health impacts of air pollution. Such a strategy of “aiming high” is backed up by the latest scientific assessment from the World Health Organization, which shows that air pollution can have health effects at lower concentration levels than previously thought, and that the range of effects is also broader.
The conclusions of the public hearing will provide input to an opinion of the EESC on this subject.
The presentations of this meeting and a summary are now available here
Originally posted on 11 April 2014