European Commission launches consultation on zero pollution plan

The European Commission has launched an open public consultation on an EU Action Plan ‘Towards a Zero Pollution Ambition for air, water and soil – building a Healthier Planet for Healthier People’.

 

As a key pillar of the European Green Deal, the ‘zero pollution ambition’ will build on initiatives in the field of energy; industry; mobility; agriculture; biodiversity; and climate.

Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said: “Environmental pollution not only negatively affects our health, especially of the citizens from the most vulnerable groups, but it is also one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss. So clearly, there is urgency to act.

With the zero pollution action plan we want to create a healthy living environment for Europeans, contribute to a resilient recovery and boost the transition to a clean, circular and climate neutral economy.

Roadmap
The consultation follows the recent publication of the roadmap that outlines EU plans to achieve zero pollution by better preventing, remedying, monitoring and reporting on pollution.

The zero pollution action plan will be the next step of implementing the’ zero pollution ambition’ after the recent publication of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.

The consultation on the action plan is open for feedback until February 10, 2021. The feedback will be taken into account for further development and fine-tuning of the initiative.

Impact Of Pollution
According to the European Commission, pollution causes multiple physical and mental diseases.

In the EU, every year over 400,000 premature deaths (including from cancers) are attributed to ambient air pollution, and 48,000 cases of ischaemic heart disease as well as 6.5 million cases of chronic sleep disturbance to noise, next to other diseases attributable to both.
The commission said that pollution’s most harmful health impacts are typically born by vulnerable citizens – notably children; people with certain medical conditions; the elderly; and people living in socio-economic deprivation.