The EU can do better according to the European Commission

The European Commission (EC) has urged the European Union (EU) to take much stronger action if it is to meet its 2030 pollution reduction targets.

EU policies have certainly contributed to reducing air pollution as well as pesticide pollution, but pollution levels remain too high. In other areas, such as harmful noise, nutrient pollution or municipal waste generation, progress has stalled, note two recent EC reports on zero pollution monitoring and future prospects. clean air.

In detail, progress in achieving the six “zero pollution” goals is mixed. Pollution from pesticides, antimicrobials and marine litter is decreasing. Little progress has been made on noise, nutrient and waste pollution. Overall high compliance rates with EU standards for drinking and bathing water pollution are nevertheless encouraging.

However, current pollution levels are still far too high: every year more than 10% of premature deaths in the EU are attributable to environmental pollution. This is mainly due to air pollution, but also noise pollution and chemical exposure, which is likely to be underestimated.

To move forward, the Commission calls for the rapid approval and adoption of legislative proposals aimed at reducing harmful pollution, as well as for better implementation of existing instruments at local, national and transboundary levels. .

In particular, it notes that if the EU implements all the relevant measures proposed, the number of premature deaths due to air pollution would decrease by more than 70% in 2030 compared to 2005 and specifies that the benefits of the air quality would outweigh the costs and lead to an overall increase in GDP.

The Executive also stresses the importance of encouraging initiatives at global level and supporting third countries in their efforts to reduce pollution.

According to the EC, pollution is the main environmental cause of several diseases and premature deaths, especially among children, people with certain pathologies and the elderly. Pollution is also one of the top five threats to biodiversity.

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