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HEAL in Poland calls on Ministry of Environment for stronger support of NEC Directive

As the Polish Ministry of Environment seems to be looking for solutions to tackle air pollution, its support for an ambitious EU regulation is still too weak. HEAL calls for a stronger engagement and support for the European clean air policy, the NEC Directive.

Poland still has one of the worst levels of air pollution in the EU, with six out of ten of the most polluted European cities located in the country. Air pollution causes around 45,000 premature deaths in Poland, as well as numerous respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, contributing to a total number of around 400,000 premature deaths in the whole EU.

Although the Polish Ministry of Environment seems to understand the problem, for example by announcing 2015 the ‘year of air’ in Poland and implementing programs and grants to improve the air quality in the country, efforts by the government focus only on part of the problem – low stack emissions. Even in this area, available funding is not enough to improve the air quality.

At the EU level, the Polish Ministry of Environment opts for weaker regulations, not binding emission levels, arguing that stronger regulations will destroy the Polish economy and threaten its development. This is surprisingly, considering the yearly external health costs of air pollution in Poland adds up to 40 – 120 billion EUR per year.

HEAL calls on Environment Minister Grabowski to show stronger support for an ambitious EU policy on air, as well as real engagement towards a binding agreement leading to an improvement in air quality. The text of the letter is available here in Polish.

Last updated on 15 July 2015

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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