Air : Research published by European Environment Bureau shows that 100 000 EU citizens could die as a result of push for weaker air quality laws
The National Emission Ceiling Directive is one of the main regulatory tools in the battle against air pollution. Ahead of Member States gathering in Brussels on 25th February, for the first of several meetings to look at setting new caps for 2020, 2025 and 2030, the European Environment Bureau has published its own analysis of the expected impact of the lower ceiling being sought by a number of Member States on human health. The European Commission wants new caps that will look to limit emissions of the most dangerous pollutants for human health including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), ammonia (NH3), and methane (CH4). However, Denmark, Romania, Poland, Italy, Spain, the UK and Bulgaria have been calling for lower emissions reduction targets despite the clear impact of air pollution on human health and the environment. France and Germany, for example, seem preoccupied with protecting large-scale industrial farming, which produces high ammonia emissions whilst others want methane emissions excluded.
In publishing the data, the EEB calls on the Member States to revert to the more ambitious European Commission numbers which were agreed by the European Parliament’s plenary in October 2015.