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EU air pollution rules weaker than China’s, says Greenpeace

Europe’s coal plants will be allowed to emit more deadly pollutants than their Chinese counterparts under EU proposals for new air quality rules, according to Greenpeace.

A Greenpeace investigation has found new pollution limits for coal-fired power plants currently being discussed by the European Union are significantly weaker than those in place in China, as well as several times weaker than what’s already been achieved by the least polluting plants in other developed economies, including the US and Japan.

The findings come in the wake of a report by Europe’s environmental watchdog warning that hundreds of thousands of people could die prematurely in the EU over the next two decades if member states fail to tackle air pollution. 

Commenting on the findings, Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Lawrence Carter said: "This is a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse. By leaving the big polluters to write new air pollution rules, EU and UK ministers are guilty of a collective dereliction of duty. Toxic emissions are killing thousands of people across Europe every year, but rather than clamp down on polluters, politicians are allowing them to prioritise profit over public health. People in the UK could now end up paying with their health for our government's sell-out to the coal lobby on a vital issue like air quality."

Access the full report here.


Greenpeace | Europe | Pollution

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