Environment: New policy package to clean up Europe's air
In a follow-up to Green Week 2013, the Commission launched shortly before Christmas 2013 a new policy package aimed at protecting air quality in Europe. It includes:
- A new Clean Air Programme for Europe with measures to ensure that existing targets are met in the short term and new air quality objectives for the period up to 2030. The package also includes support measures to help cut air pollution, with a focus on improving air quality in cities, supporting research and innovation, and promoting international cooperation.
- A revised National Emission Ceilings Directive with stricter national emission ceilings for the six main pollutants, and
- A proposal for a new Directive to reduce pollution from medium-sized combustion installations, such as energy plants for street blocks or large buildings, and small industry installations.
The European Union’s revised air policy package seeks by 2030 to reduce premature deaths by 58. 000, estimates in health terms savings between €40-140 billion in external costs and at least €3 billion in direct benefits due to higher productivity of the workforce, lower healthcare costs, higher crop yields, less ecosystem damage from nitrogen pollution and acidification and less damage to buildings.