Girling: Unreasonable targets could derail agreement on clean air rules and penalise farmers

Jul 15, 2015

Category:News

ECR MEP Julie Girling, leading on air quality for the European Parliament, has criticised moves by left wing and liberal MEPs to undermine efforts to reach an achievable deal on new air emissions rules by voting through unrealistic targets.

The European Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee voted today on Mrs Girling’s report on the so-called National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD).

However a coalition of socialist, liberal and green MEPs have voted for targets that haven’t been robustly impact assessed, a move that could seriously undermine efforts to reach agreement with national governments. These are particularly difficult for farmers, whose concerns have been side-lined by urban MEPs.

Mrs Girling said: “This legislative process has been overshadowed throughout by the Commission’s threat to withdraw their proposal and their stated intention to hold a review after the European Parliament adopts its initial position.

“It is estimated that around 400,000 people a year die prematurely across the EU from air pollution. This is not acceptable, we are all directly impacted by this crucial health issue.

“I believe my original proposal presented the right balance between ambitious targets and realistic goals.

“Unfortunately a coalition of socialists, liberals and greens have focused on increasing the already ambitious targets set by the Commission.

“Therefore I fear that we are now embarking on a long and protracted negotiation, rather than taking the quicker route of improved health for EU citizens.”