European Commission warns five member states for air pollution breaches
Posted: 2017-Feb-17 08.00.05 UTC+0800
BRUSSELS — The European Commission on Wednesday warned Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Britain for continually breaching air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and urged them to take action to address the problem.
European Union (EU) legislation on ambient air quality sets limit values for air pollutants, including NO2. Member states are required to adopt and implement air quality plans that set out appropriate measures to ensure good air quality.
If a member state fails to act within two months, the Commission may decide to take the matter to the Court of Justice of the EU.
According to a statement of the Commission, legal action on NO2 involves 12 member states such as Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, to name a few.
More than 400,000 citizens die prematurely in the EU each year as a result of poor air quality, it said, and millions more suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases caused by air pollution.
High levels of NO2 caused almost 70,000 premature deaths in Europe in 2013, said the statement. Road traffic is responsible for around 40 percent of nitrogen oxides emissions in the EU, according to official data.
Of the total emitted nitrogen oxides from traffic, around 80 percent comes from diesel powered vehicles. (PNA)