Clean air on its way

Published: Monday 31 October 2005

The European Commission has approved of wide-ranging proposals on September 21, 2005, to reduce air pollution across the 25-nation bloc.

These new regulations would deliver savings of around us $50 billion annually through premature deaths, less sickness, fewer hospital admissions and improved labour productivity. They are expected to cost the European economy us $8.5 billion a year from 2020 when they will be fully implemented.

These regulations set tighter restrictions on many sectors of the E uropean U nion economy from pesticide use, to management of animal waste and also greenhouse gas emission levels by new cars, vans and trucks.

The original cost of the proposal was reduced after lobbying by industrial groups, who were concerned that the cost to industry -- us $14.5 billion per year -- was too high.

The commission believed that thenew plan was a 'compromise proposal' with lower costs for industries but not compromising the health aspects of the original. It gave Europe one of the most advanced air policies in the world.

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