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Business as usual

On April 21, the European Commission hosted a stakeholder conference on chronic and non-communicable disease policy. The Commission also used the occasion to formally launch the newly formulated EU Health Policy Platform, which is intended to operate as a tool for stakeholders to engage and organise around the issues on which they have expertise.

[photo: European Commission]

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Andriukaitis, the DG’s Director, Xavier Prats-Monné, the Deputy Director, Martin Seychell, and no less than 4 heads of Unit were present and set out the Directorate General’s priorities in the field of chronic diseases, in the EU. It comes as no surprise that the latter are on:

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Logos open letter Feb16Call 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 Ministers,

Dear Commissioners,

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.

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PHE youtube film on COPDFor this year’s British January Smokefree campaign Public Health England (PHE) put the spotlight on COPD. The aim of the campaign is to illustrate the harm that smoking does to health, and encourage smokers to quit for good.

[source: Public Health England]

PHE released a new short film (see here and on right hand-side bar, on this website’s homepage) featuring Olympian Iwan Thomas, whose mother has recently been diagnosed with COPD. Together with 4 smokers, Iwan takes part in an experiment to illustrate the difficulties of living with advanced COPD and urges people to quit this New Year.

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Happy new year

December 28th, 2015 | Posted by European COPD Coalition in Campaigns - (0 Comments)

triptyqueThe European COPD Coalition secretariat and Board wish you all a healthy and prosperous new year.

May 2016 be about better health for those living with COPD and enhanced quality of life.

Air pollution impact on HealthToday 15 December 2015, the NEC directive was being discussed in Council, by ministers of Environment.

[Image source: EEA
Text source: European Environmental Bureau]

The 28 Ministers fell short of the mark on the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive, aimed at improving Europe’s poor air quality. Despite a strong steer from the European Parliament earlier this year, national ministers opted to water down this text thereby allowing emissions from harmful pollutants such as ammonia and fine particles to continue to be churned out in dangerously high amounts. The text also entirely removes methane from the Directive and contains a series of exemptions making the limits to be put in place at best unenforceable and at worst meaningless.

The National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive sets limits to the amount of pollution every EU country can emit on a yearly basis. Currently, the EU is looking at setting new caps for 2020, 2025 and 2030 for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), ammonia (NH3) and methane (CH4). The European Parliament broadly backed the European Commission’s proposal in a plenary vote on 28 October. Negotiations between the Parliament and Council are expected to start under the Dutch Presidency in 2016.

Air pollution continues to cause hundreds of thousands of premature deaths in the EU every year, as confirmed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) air quality report from this year.

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