Photo: flickr.com Harald Hoyer cc by-sa
In late June, representatives from the outgoing Irish presidency and the European Parliament agreed the final text of the EU’s seventh environment action programme (7EAP) for the period to 2020.
The new EAP sets out priority objectives for EU environment policy in a range of areas. It foresees the adoption of new targets for climate and energy as well as a wide range of new measures to make products more efficient, longer lasting and easier to repair and recycle.
Regarding air pollution, it is stated that the programme shall ensure that by 2020 air pollution and its impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity are further reduced with the long-term aim of not exceeding critical loads and levels. This is said to require, among other things strengthened efforts to reach full compliance with EU air quality legislation and the defining of strategic targets and actions beyond 2020.
To safeguard EU citizens from air pollution risks to health and wellbeing, the programme shall ensure that by 2020 outdoor air quality in the EU has significantly improved, moving closer to WHO recommended levels. This is said to require implementation of an updated EU policy on air quality, aligned with the latest scientific knowledge, and the development and implementation of measures to combat air pollution at source.
The programme must be formally endorsed by member states and the full parliament before becoming an EU decision, which will give it more legal weight.
Source: ENDS Europe Daily, 21 June 2013