CEEP welcomes the possibility to provide feedback to the Commission’s Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives (AAQD).
Clean air is essential for the health of people and the environment. Air quality is a major global, complex issue that needs to be addressed effective with prompt actions and with relevant legislation that allows to cooperate at global, national and regional level across different sectors.
Today, the level of air pollutants has exceeded the EU thresholds and is responsible for millions of premature deaths every year. All the pollutants covered by the AAQ Directive have harmful effects and cause breathing difficulties, lung and heart diseases or trigger asthma symptoms. We recommend to reflect on the most recent scientific evidence on the harmful effects of air pollution and align the existing framework with the WHO Guidelines.
CEEP acknowledges a need to take actions in order to improve air quality standards and recommends to strengthen air quality monitoring, modelling and plans:
- The criteria on monitoring and assessing ambient air quality should be coherent with other EU legislation and funding instruments. The EU should make sure that sufficient means are provided for those MSs and regions which will have to make most efforts in implementing the directive, for example through Just Transition Mechanisms. As coal regions will be the most affected throughout the transition, focus should be made to guarantee that they are well equipped with legal and financial instruments to implement the Directive.
- Coordination, coherence of action taken between different levels of government and a better allocation of responsibilities between the administration at the regional and local level can improve effectiveness and efficiency of the plans. It will also allow for a better evaluation of the real impact of measures taken and could help to further harmonise approaches applied to monitoring and information provisions.
- Reliable, objective and comparable information on air pollution should be provided without unnecessary administrative burdens, to ensure awareness and to guarantee access to information on air quality to the wider public. Furthermore information should be complemented with an appropriate guidance on reporting.
- Flexibility should be left to national authorities when establishing monitoring network. The number of monitoring stations should be be adjusted to specific needs of local communities and of the impacted regions.
Download the CEEP’s position.