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A deal on the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive has been reached under the Dutch Presidency of the European Union between the Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the EU.

The good news is that the new directive will require Member States to take new measures and involve the public in the process to reduce air pollution by 2020 and 2030. PM2.5 is a new pollutant that was not regulated under the old directive, and action will have to be taken on black carbon. This directive is expected to save around 48,000 lives EU wide in 2030, compared to business as usual.

The bad news is the directive is much weaker than the initial Commission proposal and the Parliament position, due to very strong push back from many large member states, no doubt influenced by business affected. The 52% cut in mortality by 2030 was brought down to 49,6%, which means approximately 9,400 additional deaths compared to the Commission and Parliament proposals. Methane will not be regulated and Member States will be allowed to adopt “flexibilities” when assessing levels of air pollutants, making it more difficult to enforce the new rules.

EFA, together with other public health and environment non-profit organisations, had advocated for a stricter directive to reduce premature deaths and diseases caused or exacerbated by air pollution. Although we are satisfied to see that the EU institutions managed to find a deal and therefore the adoption of the directive will not be delayed, we were expecting more political willingness from Member States on the need to fight against air pollution to protect European citizens.

Please to know more about the decision please visit the Council website.

For more information on air pollution illicit trade do not hesitate visiting our dedicated air quality section.

Tags: Category: News
Country: EU
Disease area: Asthma,Allergy,COPD,Food allergy,Other diseases
Theme: Air quality, - Air pollution