This page gives an overview of the latest and upcoming meetings, press releases and policies related to the work of the Council and the European Council in the area of environment.
General Affairs Council
Press releases and statements
Climate change: EU signs the Paris Agreement 22/04/2016
Working towards better air quality standards across the EU
The clean air package aims to substantially reduce air pollution across the EU. It sets out objectives to reduce the health and environmental impacts of air pollution by 2030, and contains legislative proposals to implement stricter standards for emissions and air pollution.
Poor air quality causes many health issues, such as asthma and cardiovascular problems. These health issues are particularly bad in built-up urban areas, where air quality is generally lower. Poor air quality is also the number one cause of premature death across the EU, and actually has a higher impact than road traffic accidents. Implementing the clean air package would result in improved air quality for all EU citizens, and lower healthcare costs for governments.
The Council has already reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament on one element of the package - measures to reduce air pollution from medium-sized combustion plants. Work on the other two elements - the national emission ceilings directive (NEC directive) and the Gothenburg Protocol - is ongoing.