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ENVI Committee vote cheered by two major health groups

PRESS STATEMENT

Brussels, 24 May 2011 - The combined voices of Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and Health Care Without Harm Europe (HCWH Europe), the two leading health and environment groups working at the European level, have voiced their strong approval following the ENVI Committee vote today in support for a 30% EU reduction target in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 [1].

HEAL and HCWH Europe released a report in 2010 showing the huge public health benefits of moving to a 30% GHG emissions reduction target [2]. These include reductions in premature death and illness, fewer working days lost and lower healthcare costs.

"This vote paves the way for strong climate policies in the EU that will protect public health," says Dr. Pendo Maro, Senior Policy Advisor, HEAL/HCWH Europe.

"Our report shows that the health benefits of fewer air pollutants associated with reaching a 30% target are up to 30.5 EUR billion per year by 2020 - this represents two-thirds of the European Commission’s estimate of the costs involved in moving to the 30% target."

"This vote reflects a step away from the previous "cost" perspective and towards a win-win focus on the colossal benefits for public health, innovation and productivity of action to mitigate climate change," she adds.

Contacts:

Dr. Pendo Maro, Health Care Without Harm Europe; Health and Environment Alliance; Postal Address: Rue de la Pepiniere 1, B-1000 Brussels Tel.: +32 2503 4911 Fax: + 32 2402 3042 Mobile: +32 495 281 494

Diana Smith, Communications, Health and Environment Alliance, Tel: +33 1 55 25 25 84, Mobile: +33 6 33 04 2943. E-mail: Diana@env-health.org

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) aims to raise awareness of how environmental protection and sustainability improves health and to empower the health community to contribute their expertise to policy making. Its membership is made up of more than 65 citizens’, patients’, women’s, health professionals’ and environmental organizations across Europe. Website: www.env-health.org

Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) is a global coalition of more than 484 organisations in 53 countries working with the health sector to reduce its impact on human health and the environment while advocating for global environmental health. www.noharm.org

1. The vote was on the Eickhout report and is consistent with previous ENVI and Parliament resolutions. 2. "Acting NOW for better health, A 30% reduction target for EU climate policy", 2010

Last updated on 13 June 2011

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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HEAL has over 65 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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