Paris Clean Air Forum: Member States inaction contributing to air pollution says Moscovici
Pierre Moscovici, the French Commissioner, speaking on behalf of the EU executive, at the closing session of the Paris Clean Air Forum said that Member States inaction is a key brake on efforts to improve air quality. In particular, he criticised Member States for not having been bold enough to introduce green taxes. Whilst some Member States were seeking to modernise their tax systems as a means to decarbonise their economies and comply with the recently agreed climate targets, not enough was been done across the Member States and in particular no immediate plans for fiscal reforms that could address air pollution at local level. He underlined that the European Commission could not lead the fight against air pollution alone and the support and political will of national governments was vital to move forward. Moscovici reminded the forum delegates that the European Commission had seen its efforts in 2015 for Member States to collect more revenues from polluting sectors through green taxation rebuffed at that time. A recent medical journal published evidence showing that Air pollution was responsible for more than 400,000 deaths a year in the EU alone.
Karmenu Vella meanwhile spoke of the need to tackle automotive and agricultural sectors and the emission of dangerous particulate matters. He underlined in his speech the important work of the European Environment Agency and the need for partnerships between EU, Member States and cities and regions if we were to success in bring air pollution down. He confirmed that in 2018 the Commission would host an Eco Innovation Forum dedicated to clean air.