EU targets for 2025 needed to curb air pollution in Europe

air pollution

Air pollution is one of the major environmental causes for premature death in the EU which is why the Committee welcomed the European Commission’s approach to tackle pollution at its source. Nevertheless in an opinion led by Cor Lamers, the Committee argues that there is a “mismatch” in the EU’s strategy – on the one hand legal action was being taken against those Member States whose cities and regions do not meet the air quality standards (i.e. the concentration of pollutants found in air). On the other, the Commission’s source policy has failed substantially while at the same time there has been a lack of ambition in setting clear emission reduction targets (i.e. pollutants released at source).

With regions and cities in as many as 17 Member States failing to meet current EU air quality standards, the Committee calls for additional measures to support them. Backed by EU structural funds and action plans designed by the Member States, more time should be given to meet these standards. Speaking in Brussels Cor Lamers, the Mayor of the Municipality of Schiedam, said: “The European Commission must show a degree of restraint when it comes to launching legal proceedings and instead provide a more realistic set of enforcement tools”.

Cor Lamers argues that the EU should set new interim binding emission reduction targets for 2025 to ensure that Member States are on track in meeting their 2030 emission targets. “We believe the 2025 targets should be as binding as those for 2020 and 2030, providing an additional checkpoint requiring Member States to start reducing harmful emissions in good time”.