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Commission adopts new measures to reduce air pollution

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Ship air pollution

Ship air pollution

Thursday, 19 December 2013 – Yesterday, the Commission adopted the Clean Air Policy Package that contains new measures to reduce air pollution.

The package updates existing legislation and further reduces harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their impact on human health and the environment. Both Commissioners for environment and health, Janez Potočnik and Tonio Borg respectively, welcomed the clean air policy package as a tool to achieve cleaner air in Europe.

The package consists of four main elements:

A Communication “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.
A revised National Emission Ceilings Directive with stricter national emission ceilings for the six main pollutants.

  • 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.
  • A proposal for a Council Decision for the ratification of the Gothenburg protocol.

By 2030, the clean air policy package is estimated to avoid 58 000 premature deaths, to save 123 000 km² of ecosystems from nitrogen pollution, to save 56 000 km² protected Natura 2000 areas from nitrogen pollution, and to save 19 000 km² forest ecosystems from acidification.

The adopted package is the culmination of a major review of air policy that began in early 2011.

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