NGO priorities for the review of the European policy on Air Pollution

2013 is the Year of Air in Europe. Which means that the European Union is reviewing its policy on air pollution. 60 NGOs from across the EU present 3 priorities for legislative action: ambitious reduction targets, new legislation in sectors that aren’t covered yet and better enforcement. Bral is one of the 60.

Air pollution remains a major environmental and health problem across the EU.  Despite the fact that evidence concerning the harmful impacts of air pollution has continued to pile up, the recent history of the EU’s air pollution policy has been characterized by delays and missed opportunities. During the 2013 “Year of Air”, the EU has a chance to make things right.
This paper gathers the views of 60 environmental, health and citizens’ NGOs from across the EU which came together to submit their input to the European Commission’s consultation on the review of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution. Below are the three priorities for which we would like to see legislative action in 2013.

  1. We call upon the Commission to propose ambitious new emission reduction commitments for the already regulated pollutants, PM2.5 and methane and to propose new action to control emissions of black carbon and mercury.
  2. A number of sectors have been identified as particularly problematic because of their large emissions of harmful air pollutants: agriculture, domestic solid-fuel combustion, small industrial combustion plants, road vehicles, non-road mobile machinery, international shipping and solvent use. We therefore call upon all three EU institutions to take immediate steps to regulate all sources where EU law is non-existent, insufficient or inadequate and for the European Commission to include specific proposals in its 2013 legislative package.
  3. The review should strengthen the binding limit values and align them with the WHO recommended levels, especially for PM2.5. The Commission should also speed up infringement action and ensure that the provisions of the Aarhus Convention are fully implemented both within national legal systems and within EU air pollution legislation.

The entire position paper is available here.