The Council and the European Parliament has reached a first reading agreement on a directive to reduce emissions of air pollutants, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to the press statement of the European Commission.
he new National Emissions Ceiling Directive sets stricter national limits from 2020 to 2029 and from 2030 onwards. EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella welcomed the agreement: "Air pollution is the number-one environmental cause of death in the EU, leading to over 400,000 premature deaths each year. The agreement reached will cut those impacts by half over the coming years. It will also deliver direct savings to the economy from fewer lost working days and lower health-care costs and stimulate investments in new technologies and green growth. The negotiations were difficult and complex, but the institutions came together in a spirit of compromise. With this agreement, the EU has acteddecisively on an issue of crucial importance to our citizens.