Despite significant progress in recent decades, air pollution levels in the European Union still have adverse impacts on the environment and on health. The European Commission estimates that health-related costs of air pollution in the EU range from 390 to 940 billion euros per year.
The proposed directive, which would replace the current National Emission Ceilings Directive, sets binding national reduction objectives for six air pollutants (SO2, NOx, NMVOCs, NH3, PM2.5 and CH4) to be met by 2020 and 2030. It will also implement the Gothenburg Protocol as amended in 2012.
The European Commission estimates that implementation costs would range from 2.2 to 3.3 billion euros per year. Stakeholders have been divided over the level of ambition of the proposed ceilings. Both EU advisory committees have issued opinions and some national parliaments have made comments on the proposal. The Council held a policy debate in June 2015.
The ENVI Committee adopted its report on 15 July 2015. A vote in plenary is expected to take place in October. This briefing updates an earlier edition, of 12 May 2015.