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European Commission adopts air quality package

18 December 2013

Today the European Commission has presented a comprehensive air quality package, including new measures and objectives to reduce air pollution for the period up to 2030.

The direct costs to society from air pollution amount to about €23 billion per year, according to the Commission. The package adopted today is the culmination of a major review of air policy that began in early 2011.

"The air we breathe today is much cleaner than in past decades" said Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik. "But air pollution is still an 'invisible killer' and it prevents many people from living a fully active life. The actions we are proposing will halve the number of premature deaths from air pollution, increase protection for the vulnerable groups who need it most, and improve quality of life for all."

The clean air policy package updates existing legislation and further reduces harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their impact on human health and the environment. The situation is especially severe in urban areas, which are now home to a majority of Europeans.

For more information: press release