Hiding? No I am just adjusting this wall. Photo: © Shutterstock – Arman Novic

Member states ask EU to help hide their air pollution failure

Eleven governments have asked the European Commission to retrospectively raise their “emission ceilings” after breaching their national air pollution limits in 2016, namely: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, France, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg Spain and the UK.

The EU’s National Emission Ceilings (NEC) directive sets absolute caps for the annual amount of pollution allowed to be emitted by any one country. However, governments can request that the limits set for previous years be raised, if certain circumstances apply. This process is known as an “inventory adjustment”, but environmentalists say that granting these adjustments undermines the law, as targets can be raised after they have already been missed.

In a letter sent by EEB, ClientEarth and AirClim to European Commissioner Karmenu Vella, EEB Secretary General Jeremy Wates said that the use of inventory adjustments should be kept to the “strict minimum” and that it should be considered whether governments have taken any action to tackle additional emissions before granting any adjustments.

Source: NGO letter to Karmenu Vella, 31 July 2018.


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