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This afternoon, the HEAL Poland team, together with 25+ health experts, health organisations and civil society representatives, met Ministry of Climate and Environment Secretary of State Bolesta, to discuss the ongoing revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directive (AAQD), on which negotiators reached a deal last week. Participants included HEAL partners Prof. Michał Krzyżanowski, Prof. Tadeusz Zielonka, Prof. Bolesław Samoliński, Dr Piotr Dąbrowiecki.  

HEAL Poland director Weronika Michalak spoke about the urgency to achieve clean air for health, in Poland and in the whole European region, a key priority for HEAL: 

“Secretary of State, we are here today to present you with one united demand: that is for you, for the Polish government, to support, to say yes to the deal on the AAQD which was reached last week in the negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council and the EU Commission. As this deal is coming up for a vote with EU member states, Poland’s yes is key. The revision of the AAQD, this trilogue deal, is a once in a generation opportunity to lessen people’s suffering, prevent disease and save on healthcare costs for Poland.” 

Poland has one of the highest health burden from air pollution in the whole of the EU, with over 40,000 premature deaths annually – but with the right policy measures, these health impacts and costs are largely preventable.  

The new Polish government, in place since December, needs to take bold action to bring quick and long-lasting improvements to air quality in Poland: A recent analysis shows that Poland can reach the limit values now agreed in the trilogue deal. Reaching these new standards would mean that finally the majority of people living in Poland would live in areas that would meet the foreseen limit value, compared to a meagre 2 million who currently do. 

The Polish government can now make a difference for the health of millions of people in the country, with a yes to this deal. 

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