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News > France

European Commission Calls for Tougher Actions on Air Pollution

  • Aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France, June 23, 2020.

    Aerial view of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France, June 23, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @HitachiEurope

Published 26 June 2020

Nearly 400,000 premature deaths occur every year in Europe due to exposure to air pollution.

he European Commission (EC) Friday urged countries to take tougher measures to curb environmental pollution, or they will fail to meet its 2020 and 2030 smog mitigation targets.


Thousands of Children Die Each Year Because of Air Pollution

In a report, the Commission found that only 10 European countries will achieve their emission reduction goals by 2020, and only four by 2030.

The countries on track to reach their targets by the end of the decade are Croatia, Cyprus, the Netherlands, and Finland.

"The region needs to intensify its efforts. It will be the surest way to put an end to the nearly 400,000 premature deaths that occur every year in the European Union due to air pollution's exposure," the EC warned.

The coronavirus pandemic demands not to postpone the environmental pollution's decrease. Prolonged exposure to contaminating gases can cause diabetes, respiratory diseases, and cancer, conditions that compromise the COVID-19 patients' survival.

Although air pollution fell in Europe in March due to confinement, research shows that nitrogen dioxide levels are rebounding in cities such as Paris, Oslo, and Budapest.

The five air pollutants the world must focus on reducing are sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds, ammonia, and fine particles.

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