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.
The European Climate Foundation’s partner, Climate Analytics has published an important report on what needs to happen to meet Europe’s goal of phasing out by 2030 to meet climate goals.
Entitled “A stress test for coal in Europe“, it presents the first science-based shutdown schedule for the EU’s over 300 coal power plants – in order for it to meet the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal.
The report shows that emissions from coal in the EU electricity sector need to be close to zero by 2030 (95 percent by 2030; 100 percent by 2031), with a quarter of operating coal-fired power plants switched off before 2020 and a further 47 percent going offline by 2025.
To achieve this ambitious phase-out schedule the EU will need to design enhanced policy settings and approaches that complement each other, including:
• a more effective EU Emissions Trading Scheme;
• a stable and predictable investment framework;
• bigger targets for renewables – instrumental in a successful coal phase-out, and;
• strategies and policies at both national and regional level to ensure a smooth transition and maximise socioeconomic opportunities.
Resources will need to be devoted to the transformation required to maximise the economic, employment, social and environmental benefits of this essential transformation.
The full report can be downloaded here.