EU Commission urges FRANCE, CYPRUS and LITHUANIA to improve their rules against air pollution

The Commission is asking France, Cyprus and Lithuania to correctly transpose into national legislation all the requirements of Directive (EU) 2016/2284 on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants (NEC Directive).

The NEC Directive contributes to achieving levels of air quality that do not give rise to significant negative impacts on and risks to human health and the environment.

In particular, the Directive sets national emission reduction commitments for Member States for five important air pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

These air pollutants all lead to significant negative impacts on human health, such as respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and damage ecosystems.

France and Cyprus have, among others, not transposed into national law the Directive’s requirement to update their national air pollution control programme at least every four years.

Lithuania has not correctly transposed into national law the Directive’s provisions which enable Member States to adjust, under certain limited conditions, their air pollutant emission inventories for assessing progress in reducing air pollution in the EU.

Therefore, the Commission has decided today to send letters of formal notice to the three countries, which now have four months to remedy the situation. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

Vivian Loonela

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