A new package of measures aimed at tackling pollution and improving air quality in the European Union has been unveiled.
The draft proposal includes revised legal limits on how much each member state can emit from a list of major pollutants as well as new law to cut emissions from medium-sized industrial installations such as power plants.
Although EU policy has been successful in reducing concentrations of harmful pollutants, many member states are not meeting their agreed air quality standards, particularly in cities, according to the European Commission.
The new proposal also aims to cut the impact of pollutants on human health.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said: “The air we breathe today is much cleaner than in past decades. But air pollution is still an ‘invisible killer’ and it prevents many people from living a fully active life. The actions we are proposing will halve the number of premature deaths from air pollution, increase protection for the vulnerable groups who need it most and improve quality of life for all.
“It’s also good news for nature and fragile ecosystems and it will boost the clean technology industry – an important growth sector for Europe.”
Last month the UK Government allocated £1 million to local authorities across the nation in a bid to improve air quality.