People, Environment

EU Lawmakers to Adopt Compromise Air Pollution Bill

EU Lawmakers to Adopt Compromise Air Pollution BillEU Lawmakers to Adopt Compromise Air Pollution Bill

The European Parliament was expected to adopt lower air pollution targets than it originally wanted on Wednesday.

The original set of ceilings, proposed back in December 2013 by the European Commission, was estimated to reduce air quality-related health problems by 52%. The compromise proposal is expected to reduce that aim to 49.6%.

The three largest political groups in the parliament, which have a comfortable majority together, told EU Observer they would support a compromise text agreed with national governments before the summer break.

 “It's not a perfect solution, but it will go a long way to making important health improvements for our citizens,” said Conservative MEP Julie Girling on Wednesday during a debate ahead of the vote in Strasbourg. Girling negotiated with governments on behalf of the parliament.

“In any negotiation, there are compromises to be made,” EU climate commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, added.

“The final position is an honorable outcome, which is both ambitious, fair and practical,” he said in Strasbourg.

The bill sets five pollution ceilings—upper limits to the concentrations of pollutants in the air—for 2020 and 2030 for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter. It also sets indicative targets for 2025. Each member state has its own ceilings and they were also involved in negotiating their height.

Air pollution causes 400,000 premature deaths each year in Europe, according to estimates, and also contributes to chronic diseases like asthma.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints