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HEAL reacts to Commission’s proposal on 2030 EU climate and energy policy

Information release

Brussels, 22 January 2013 – Yesterday the European Commission released a White Paper outlining its proposal for the 2030 EU climate and energy policy.

Leading NGOs including the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) called on the EU Heads of State and Government to put EU climate ambition back on track with what its citizens – and science – are calling for. An action took place outside the European Commission.

SOS! EU Climate Action lost at sea!

HEAL says reducing greenhouse gas emissions reaps large health co-benefits as for example, an improvement in air quality leads to lower rates of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and economic gains as health care expenses decrease, while productivity increases. Greenhouse gases and air pollutants such as from coal power generation originate largely from the same processes, and the higher the mitigation target, the bigger the health co-benefits.

Although the large health co-benefits partly outweigh the costs of mitigation in the Commission’s impact assessment, the assessment still excludes important health benefits, such as better health from a climate-friendly diet low in saturated fats or higher levels of physical activity through the use of active transport. The total health savings from climate action are even larger than the Commission’s estimates.

Julia Huscher, HEAL’s coal and health officer says “Those missing percent that the Commission did not put on the table today mean that a higher number of coal power plants will continue running and pollute our environment in the next decade, leading to more people being sick, while a higher target could have reaped much higher health benefits.”

NGOs outside the European Commission with the tagline Climate SOS! EU climate action lost at sea!


Julia Huscher, Coal and Health Officer, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Email:, Tel: +32 2 234 36 46

Lucy Mathieson, Communications and Campaigns Officer, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Email: Tel: +32 2 234 36 47

Last updated on 23 January 2014

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 »


HEAL has over 70 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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Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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