Most EU countries not doing enough to tackle air pollution: Commission
BRUSSELS (BELGIUM) – Most European Union countries are at risk of missing their goal of reducing air pollution for both 2020 and 2030, the European Commission said on Friday.
In its first report on countries’ progress towards EU air pollution goals, the Commission said member states needed to step up efforts to tackle the estimated 400,000 premature deaths a year in the EU by exposure to polluted air.
Based on current policies, 10 of the EU’s 27 member states will meet their 2020 targets to reduce air pollution, while only Croatia, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Finland would meet their 2030 goals, the Commission said.
The report is based on countries’ emissions projections submitted to the Commission last year.
Europe’s air pollution crisis has been thrown into harsher light by the new coronavirus pandemic, with researchers noting that prolonged exposure to dirty air can trigger diabetes, lung disease and cancer – conditions that increase the risk of fatality for COVID-19 patients.
Air pollution levels dropped across Europe in March, when coronavirus lockdowns curbed road transport and slowed output at gas-emitting factories.
But research this week from the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air showed nitrogen dioxide rebounding strongly in cities including Paris, Oslo and Budapest, as economies reopen.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field