EC gives new warning to 9 countries over life-threatening air pollution
It is giving them a deadline until next week to meet the air quality standards or face legal action. The nine EU member states are accused of having failed to improve air quality despite repeated previous warnings in the past years.
EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella has invited environment ministers for a summit in Brussels and asked them to come up with solutions to tackle the “life-threatening” air pollution issue that is said to cause 400,000 deaths a year.
Moreover, the EU estimates that air pollution costs the bloc 20 billion euros a year in health costs.
“In the face of such outstanding failures to take serious action and in view that the ongoing legal process will continue, I urge all member states to address this life threatening problem with the urgency it deserves,” Vella told a press conference.
He told the ministers “that if they have any new measures that they can put on the table, that they have to come with these new measures latest by Monday.”
According to EC spokesman Margaritis Schinas, commissioner Vella “gave the member states the deadline until the end of next week to complete their submissions so that a recourse to the court will be avoided.”
If they fail to meet the deadline, the EC might take them to court, namely to the European Court of Justice, facing harsh fines. ■