Unfruitful resistance by the Netherlands against air regulations
Clean air regulations for EU not strict enough - more health problems due to unregulated emissions
Monday, 23 October 2006
AMSTERDAM -The Netherlands has resisted in vain Monday against a European proposal for cleaner air. State Secretary Pieter van Geel (Environment) declared himself as the only antagonist at the EU-meeting concerning this proposal. According to Van Geel it is impossible for the Netherlands to swiftly obtain these standards with the current methods.
The proposal, which still needs the agreement of the European Parliament, fights especially the smallest substance particles. They are very detrimental. They ensure 350.000 premature mortality cases in the European Union per year.
‘We have been persuaded of the consequences of bad air on people ", said Van Geel at the meeting. But the CDA State Secretary finds that he can carry out too few measures to obtain the standards, such as the earlier introduction of soot filters on cars. ‘Because the feasibility cannot be guaranteed, the proposal is not acceptable for us."
European commissioner Stavros Dimas (Environment) communicated however, that proposals will soon follow to limit the emissions of cars and trucks. But was that insufficient for Van Geel.
Only Ireland, Poland and Czechia also said the standards were difficult to obtain, but did not declare themselves to be opposed.
On the other hand countries such as France, Great Britain and Sweden find the standards too low and too late. The French minister Nelly Olin called the compromise proposal, "the absolute minimum", because the small substance particles are such a large health problem.
The proposal puts a limit of 25 microgram per cubic meter air in 2015. So far that applies to a soft target figure, which is not binding. The Netherlands would gladly have three years extra time in order to obtain the standard.
Van Geel said his hope is established with the European Parliament, which can still adapt the text. The parliament in a first response wants to give more time, but then in order to make the standards stricter.
European Parliament member Dorette Corbey (PvdA) has been appointed on behalf of the parliament to formulate a point of view position.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news