Air Pollution: Parliament Adopts Revised Law to Improve Air Quality

Photo-illustration: Freepik (frimufilms)

Parliament on Wednesday adopted a provisional political agreement with EU countries on new measures to improve air quality in the EU so it is no longer harmful to human health, natural ecosystems and biodiversity, by 381 votes in favour, 225 against, and 17 abstentions.

The new rules set stricter 2030 limits and target values for pollutants with a severe impact on human health, including particulate matter (PM2.5, PM10), NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), and SO2 (sulphur dioxide). Member states may request that the 2030 deadline be postponed by up to ten years, if specific conditions are met.

If the new national rules are violated, those affected by air pollution will be able to take legal action, and citizens may receive compensation if their health has been damaged.

More air quality sampling points will also be set up in cities and currently-fragmented air quality indices across the EU will become comparable, clear and publicly available.

You can read more about the new rules here.



After the vote, rapporteur Javi López (S&D, ES) said: “By updating air quality standards, some of which were established nearly two decades ago, pollution will be halved across the EU, paving the way for a healthier, more sustainable future. Thanks to Parliament, the updated rules improve air quality monitoring and protect vulnerable groups more effectively. Today is a significant victory in our continuous commitment to secure a safer, cleaner environment for all Europeans.”

Next steps

The law now also has to be adopted by Council, before being published in the EU Official Journal and entering into force 20 days later. EU countries will then have two years to apply the new rules.

Source: European Parliament