The following Environment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
As of exit day (31 January 2020), the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.
For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.
The European Commission's (EC) Clean Air Policy Package (the Clean Air Package) aims to substantially and further reduce air pollution across the EU. Poor air quality is a major health risk, which also causes environmental (affecting the quality of fresh water, soil, and ecosystems) and economic impacts.
In 2010, despite the existing EC air quality policy framework, more than 400,000 people are estimated to have died prematurely from air pollution in the EU, and almost two-thirds of the EU land area was exposed to excess nutrient above safe levels.
Air pollution also damages materials and buildings, and some air pollutants behave like greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
For more on air pollution and its causes, see: Air pollution controls—overview.
At EU level, the main components of the air quality policy framework are:
the 2005 EU Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, setting out strategic policy objectives
the 2016 National Emission Ceilings
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