News from ISGlobal
Within the next two weeks, the European Parliament is expected to give the green light to a piece of legislation that is already on the table: the European National Emissions Ceiling Directive. The proposed directive sets binding national objectives for the reduction of certain atmospheric pollutants for all European Union (EU) member states. On November 11, in view of the imminent adoption of this new directive, the European Parliament Information Office in Barcelona, with the collaboration of ISGlobal and CSIC in Barcelona, hosted a public debate attended by invited guest Julie Girling, Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur of the new directive, and representatives of local, metropolitan and regional governments, scientists and civil society organisations.
European Commission data indicates that the health-related costs of air pollution range from 390 to 940 billion euros per year and ISGlobal researcher Jordi Sunyer explained that measures restricting air pollution are among the health strategies that have the best cost-benefit profile. “In Europe there are millions of chimneys—millions of exhaust pipes producing emissions. We cannot understand why the EU continues to support diesel when it is well known that diesel emissions cause cancer and diesel engines emit particles that damage our health.” He went on to emphasise that “In the health sector we are asking the European institutions to reverse policies that support the use of diesel fuels”.
In her closing remarks, ISGlobal researcher Cathryn Tonne pointed out that it was “clear that the new European directive is welcome and necessary, but insufficient to protect public health in Europe”. She nevertheless went on to remind those present that “European legislation only establishes the minimum standards” and that “many more measures can be implemented at all levels”.