Call for clean air
Open letter by 76 public health, environmental, civil society, organic farming and animal welfare organisations on the opening of the trilogue negotiations on the National Emissions Ceilings Directive
Brussels, 22 February 2016
Dear Members of the European Parliament,
This week you will be starting the trilogue negotiations for the new EU National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NEC).
The NEC is a unique opportunity to set the EU on track for clean air and save literally thousands of European citizens’ lives each year.
In the EU, air pollution continues to be an “invisible killer” causing 403,000 premature deaths in the year 2012 alone. Poor air quality also contributes to severe chronic disease across the lifespan including cardio-vascular and respiratory disease such as asthma, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, impaired prenatal and early childhood development, and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, mental health, obesity and childhood leukaemia. The health-related economic costs of air pollution are estimated at between €330 – €940 billion for the EU annually, which is equivalent to 3 – 9% of the EU’s GDP. Air pollution also impacts Europe’s nature and biodiversity, agricultural yields and natural vegetation. Crop losses due to air pollution are estimated at €3 billion per year.