Air pollution is the top environmental threat to health, leading to 400 000 premature deaths per year across the EU. European citizens are deeply aware of the risks of breathing dirty air, and recent Eurobarometer data shows that they require urgent action to protect public health and the environment.
EPHA has joined 7 health and environmental civil society organisations in voicing European citizens’ concerns, and has co-signed a letter to Executive Vice-Presidents Timmermans and Dombrovskis and Commissioner Sinkevičius calling on them to translate the ambition stated in the Communication on the European Green Deal into concrete clean air steps in the 2020 Work Programme of the European Commission.
This includes, for 2020:
- Updating minimum requirements for air quality plans and monitoring by immediately adopting implementing legislation to strengthen minimum content of air quality plans and ensure consistent and accurate air quality monitoring also clarifying the current requirements for number and location of sampling points
- Enforcing existing legislation by promptly launching infringement procedures and taking Member States to the Court of Justice of the European Union when they fail to protect people’s health and the environment
- Setting a clear roadmap to align EU legally binding air quality limit values with the World Health Organization guidelines (update expected soon) and for a pathway towards zero emission and zero pollution in all sectors, including industry, transport, buildings and agriculture.