In the next few years, Europe must take major measures to eliminate pollution. For example, this involves not only air pollution, but also noise pollution. The European Commission pointed out in a new action plan that by 2030, Europe will become cleaner and healthier. Our goal is to have almost no pollution by 2050.
According to the committee, pollution causes many health problems. In Europe, one in eight Europeans die from pollution, and the vast majority of people die from diseases such as cancer. The European Commission hopes to reduce the number of deaths caused by air pollution by 55% by 2030.
Marine litter should also be cut by half, and the use of pesticides should be cut by half. Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission, said: “If we don’t take action now, we will pass the problem to our children. Then, doing something will become more difficult and costly. Will be higher.”
Noise pollution and particulate matter
This new action plan will become part of Frans Timmermans’ “Green Deal”, which is the EU’s main plan to address environmental and climate issues, because many pollution targets are consistent with climate targets. For example, if more electric vehicles are used, air pollution will also be reduced.
However, the action plan also has some relatively new perspectives. For example, also pay attention to noise pollution. The committee hopes that the number of people affected by aircraft and car noise will be reduced by 30%. According to calculations, 12,000 people die every year from chronic noise disturbance, and as a result, 48,000 people suffer from cardiovascular diseases.
The committee also hopes to clearly address the amount of particulate matter in the air. This may have an impact on plans to use biomass as a sustainable energy source, for example, for people who use wood-burning stoves. Burning wood will produce a lot of particulate matter, so the smoke produced by biomass plants and houses must be well filtered. The committee stated that if not, no more wood should be burned.
The Netherlands and 16 other countries have been condemned by the committee for failing to meet air quality standards. The criticism is that air pollution is not properly controlled.
According to Groenlinks MEP Bas Eickhout, the goal is clear. “The quality of air and water must be improved quickly, and noise pollution must be addressed. This is imminent.” However, Eickhout still has criticism. According to him, the current target still does not meet the standards of the World Health Organization.