EU fails to respond to new science on health impacts of air pollution
The European Commission yesterday released their ‘Year of Air’ package of proposals to tackle air pollution, which causes 420,000 deaths across the EU.
2013, the EU ‘Year of Air’, was certainly significant in terms of new evidence of the devastating health impacts of air pollution.
- The WHO categorised outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic.
- Research was published linking air pollution to low birthweight, reduced lung volume in children, lung cancer and heart failure.
- Last week a study published in the Lancet showed air pollution causes early death at levels well below current EU standards.
The measures in the package aim to reduce the levels of pollutants by around 20% from current levels by 2030, but considering the threat to our health, many are disappointed by the lack of urgency.
Alan Andrews, ClientEarth lawyer, said: “We’re encouraged that the Commission has recognised the scale of the problem, but disappointed they’ve bowed to pressure from industry and countries like the UK to put off taking action until 2030.”
“The longer we delay, the more people will die or get seriously ill from cancer, strokes and heart disease.”
“It’s now up to the European Parliament and the Council to strengthen this proposal instead of watering it down. We need clear, ambitious targets for 2020 and 2025. This is a golden opportunity to save lives, save money and drive green growth.”
Read this blog from Alan for more detail on the proposal. We’ll keep you updated about opportunities to influence the development of the proposal next year.