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Testimonies from leading health advocates, medical experts and policy makers

’’The report provides the first-ever calculation of the human health costs associated with coal-fired power stations in Europe. This important economic assessment represents an unpaid health bill that should be taken into account when determining energy policy.’’

Génon K. Jensen, Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

“Addressing air pollution from coal power plants alone has the potential to yield significant savings to health budgets, especially given that an average coal power plant operates for at least forty years. As 2013 is the European Year of Air where a review of EU air quality policy will take place, this is the right time to act.”

Prof Jean-Paul Sculier, Secretary for European Affairs, European Respiratory Society (ERS)

“European doctors know air pollution to be an important risk factor for health, and the CPME has a long-standing interest in this topic. Health professionals are committed to bringing new evidence-based information to the public as well as to decision makers and using their voice to bring about policy changes.”

Birgit Beger, Secretary General, Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)

“The EU has committed to protect public health from air pollution as well as from climate change impacts. As the use of coal in Europe is currently increasing, there is a significant threat to people’s health in the short and long term.”

Dr. Peter Liese, Member of the European Parliament, Germany

“Concrete opportunities for preventing ill-health are always good news for health insurance organisations. We intend to support all advocacy efforts in favour of reducing exposure to polluted air, including from coal-powered electricity stations in Europe.”

Dr Philippe Swennen, Project Manager, Association Internationale de la Mutualité (AIM)

“For patients with asthma, allergies and other respiratory diseases, air pollution can have severe consequences, imposing limitations on their daily lives, restricting their activities outdoors and even resulting in days off from work. Policymakers should use every opportunity to create an environment that is free from the burden of air pollution, with looking at the health implications of coal consumption being one of them.”

Roberta Savli, EU Policy Officer, European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations (EFA)

“A pregnant woman’s exposure to mercury can cause irreversible damage to the brain development of her unborn child. A recent study has put a price tag on this in Europe to the tune of some 9 billion a year. Stricter EU regulation of mercury emissions, reducing to a minimum the use of coal in power production, would represent an important step.”

Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director, Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

Last updated on 6 March 2013

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 »

Contact us

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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