Health groups call on the leaders of the Western Balkan countries to harmonize national air quality standards with the World Health Organization Global air quality guidelines. Health experts should be actively involved in these decision-making processes to ensure the timely integration of public health measures into environmental policies. Compliance with WHO recommendations brings multiple benefits – reduced incidence of chronic diseases and premature deaths, reduced overall health costs and, most importantly, better health and higher productivity of people.
Signed by over 60 organizations with an environmental, faith, development or health background, a proposal for a fast-track climate action programme until 2020 has been shared with the German government today at the beginning of coalition talks.
In the document, civil society stresses the large gap between existing emissions reduction and the German climate target of getting 40% below the emission levels of 1990 by 2020, showing there is an imminent need to develop and implement additional actions. Taking additional steps towards a coal phase-out is seen as a key measure the government should tackle within its mandate.