The European COPD Coalition (ECC), the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) welcome the European Commission’s proposal on the 3rd Real driving emissions (RDE) package and call on the national experts in the Technical Committee of Motor Vehicles (TCMV) to endorse it in its entirety on 20 December 2016. The proposal is a timely step to address the growing particulate number (PN) emissions from the new generation of petrol vehicles on Europe’s roads which emit many more particles than the prescribed Euro 6 limit in real-world driving conditions.
As a result, these vehicles contribute to what is already a grave public health emergency, as the latest figures by the European Environment Agency (EEA) show that air pollutant emissions contribute to 467,000 premature deaths across the EU each year(1). Moreover, a major report launched by the Royal College of Physicians earlier this year examined the impact of exposure to air pollution across the entire life course and one of its Recommendations for Action was a strengthening of emissions testing for cars (2).
The public health context in terms of protecting EU citizens’ health and reducing the chronic disease burden and its associated costs to healthcare systems is a vital consideration in this debate. In addition, the health related economic costs are enormous and amount to as much as €940 billion for the year 2010 alone (3). The RDE package you are discussing will make an important contribution to reaching air quality as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) (4).
In particular, ECC, ERS, EPHA and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) call on the TCMV to adopt the proposed implementation deadline (to apply to all new vehicles from 2018), to keep the already weakened PN not-to-exceed limits without further flexibility to the industry and ensure emission test results are made publically available for cities, NGOs and other organizations.
(2) Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Every breath we take, the lifelong impact of air pollution: 2016 https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/every-breath-we-take-lifelo…
(3) European Commission. Commission Staff Working Document: Impact Assessment on National Emissions Ceiling (NEC Directive) http://ec.europa.eu/environment/archives/air/pdf/Impact_assessment_en.pdf
(4) WHO regional office for Europe. Air quality and health resolution adopted at the sixty-eighth World Health Assembly. 2015. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/air-qual…