EU urged to toughen air pollution targets

There has been calls for the EU to act upon its air pollution levels, which are reportedly responsible for 400,000 premature deaths each year. The environmental Members of the European Parliament have stated that a 70% reduction in air pollution could save anywhere up to £40 billion by 2030.

One suggestion to toughen the targets is to set midway targets between 2020 and 2030. It is believed that if the midway targets were missed, it would allow time to reassess the targets for 2030. These targets would be for all pollutants except for methane, which in the UK is controlled under the National Air Quality Strategy. The main pollutants that will be targeted are sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxide, which have been identified as 3 pollutants which could make a huge impact in the fight to clean Europe’s air.

A report by the World Health Organisation earlier this year stated that air pollution costs the UK £83 billion a year in health costs, which would be a huge incentive for member of the EU to lower the amount of air pollution if it would reduce their own bill.