The EU Council has adopted a new directive to reduce air pollution.
It sets stricter national limits for the emissions of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Oxides, Non-methane volatile organic compounds, Ammonia (NH3) and Particulate Matter (PM).
It follows the European Environment Agency’s report which stated air pollution causes more than 400,000 deaths per year.
With the new rules, the EU Council aims to cut the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution by 50% by 2030 as well as reduce health risks and environmental impacts.
The directive sets ceilings for each country of the maximum emissions allowed per year. The limits for each pollutant that will apply every year from 2020 to 2029 are identical to those Member States are already committed to in the revised Gothenburg protocol.
It has also set new reduction targets from 2030 which aim to cut by 63% NOx emissions, 40% for Non-methane Volatile Organic Compounds, 19% for NH3 and 79% for PM compared to 2005 levels.
The directive is expected to enter into force by the end of this year.