Air pollution in Europe and the EU lack of action
Air pollution from vehicles is killing tens of thousands of people every year in the UK alone, write Jean Lambert, Molly Scott Cato & Keith Taylor, an outrage set into stark focus by VW's 'test cheating'. The EU's response? To relax tests and allow cars to be more polluting - with the full support of the UK government.
Rather than clamping down on the car industry's irresponsible approach to pollution, EU governments and the Commission instead want to rewrite existing law, providing loopholes which will allow cars to legally pollute more.
Faced with a public health crisis, responsible for nearly half a million premature deaths in Europe each year, we would expect an emergency response.
We would not expect those responsible for creating such a deadly crisis to be allowed to continue getting away with it.
And it would certainly be reasonable to expect those with the power to kerb such a catastrophe take all necessary action to deal with it, rather than colluding with the perpetrators.
Yet this is a tale of a silent killer stalking our streets, backed by a powerful industry with friends in high places. This faceless slayer is air pollution, the health impacts of which cost society up to €940bn annually.
Members of the European Parliament have a chance to tackle this outrage in a crucial vote on Wednesday and we call on them to do the right thing.
Woman with mask image via Shutterstock.
Read more at ENN Affiliate, the Ecologist.