Eight health and environmental civil society organisations have come together to voice European citizens’ concerns and have co-signed a letter to Executive Vice-Presidents Timmermans and Dombrovskis and Commissioner Sinkevičius calling on them to translate the ambition stated in the Communication on the European Green Deal into concrete clean air steps in the 2020 Work Programme of the European Commission.
Their letter reflects Europeans’ growing concerns about rising levels of air pollution and the risks of breathing dirty air, the top environmental threat to health, leading to 400 000 premature deaths per year across the EU, and their requests for urgent action to protect public health and the environment. The letter requests that in 2020, the European Commission;
- Updates minimum requirements for air quality plans and monitoring by immediately adopting implementing legislation to strengthen these plans and ensure consistent and accurate air quality monitoring, also clarifying the current requirements for number and location of sampling points
- Enforces existing legislation by promptly launching infringement procedures and taking Member States to the Court of Justice of the European Union when they fail to protect people’s health and the environment
- Sets a clear roadmap to align EU legally binding air quality limit values with the World Health Organization guidelines (update expected soon) and for a pathway towards zero emission and zero pollution in all sectors, including industry, transport, buildings and agriculture.
Read the letter here