New air pollution targets will reduce premature deaths

23-Nov-2016 @ 13:00

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New air pollution targets will reduce premature deaths

Ambitious targets to reduce air pollution and cut premature deaths from poor air quality were given the final sign off by the European Parliament today.

The National Emissions Ceilings directive (NEC), which has been steered through the European legislative process by Conservative MEP Julie Girling over the last three years, sets the upper limits per Member State for five key pollutants.

The agreement aligns targets for 2020 with international commitments and sets new, more ambitious targets through to 2030, covering sectors including agriculture, transport and industry.

Mrs Girling, MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, noted that poor air quality had a huge impact on human health, the environment and the economy.

She said: "I am very happy to see this key piece of legislation take its final step onto the statute books. Poor air quality is an urgent public health issue. Air pollution does not recognise national borders and we must work together with our EU neighbours to tackle it.

"It is estimated to cause 400,000 premature deaths per year across the EU. The agreement will reduce the health impacts of bad air quality by around 50% by 2030.

"The U.K. should be a leader in the fight to tackle bad air quality. I hope, post-Brexit, that the UK continues to work with its European partners on issues such as this. With our national health system we bear the economic consequences of bad air quality directly and we should not allow the progress made in recent years to slip."

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