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EU cities and regions call for 2025 air pollution targets

According to EU committee, current EU plans “will take two generations before people can breathe genuinely clean airâ€?

Binding 2025 targets for air pollution emission reductions in member states are needed as current EU plans “will take two generations before people can breathe genuinely clean airâ€?, according to European cities and regions.

Member states currently have binding targets set for 2020 and 2030 to limit various air pollutants, but the EU’s Committee of Regions – an assembly of regional and local representatives from all 28 Member States – has today (October 10) called for additional interim targets for 2025.

Calls have come for binding EU interim air quality targets to be set for 2025

Calls have come for binding EU interim air quality targets to be set for 2025

According to the Committee’s Cor Lamers, who spoke at the 108th plenary session of the Committee in Brussels this week, new interim binding targets in 2025 would help ensure that Member States are on track to meeting the 2030 targets.

Mr Lamers, the Mayor of Schiedam in the Netherlands, commented: “We believe the 2025 targets should be as binding as those for 2020 and 2030, providing an additional checkpoint requiring Member States to start reducing harmful emissions in good time.â€?

There are local and regional authorities in 17 Member States missing current EU air pollution standards, and the Committee also believes Member States need more support and time to meet the targets, while the EU should show “restraintâ€? with regards to launching legal proceedings.

The Committee also criticised what it sees as a “mismatchâ€? in the EU’s strategy, which is seeing Member States facing legal action for failing to meet targets, while the Commission’s own source policy has itself “failed substantiallyâ€? alongside a “lack of ambition in setting clear emission reduction targetsâ€?.

Mr Lamers said: “The European Commission must show a degree of restraint when it comes to launching legal proceedings and instead provide a more realistic set of enforcement tools.â€?

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