Aimed at clean air, water and soil, healthy ecosystems and a healthy living environment for all , the European Commission launched the roadmap on an Action Plan “ towards a Zero Pollution Ambition for air, water and soil – building a Healthier Planet for Healthier People”
In the European Union, every year over 4,00,000 premature deaths (including from cancers) and 48,000 cases of ischaemic heart disease are caused because of air pollution, as well as 6.5 million cases of chronic sleep disturbance to noise. The harmful health impacts of pollution are borne by vulnerable citizens, especially children, people with certain medical conditions and the elderly people.
The European Union said that the present attempt of drawing a road map was for increasing the resilience of the society as well as social sustainability by reducing the -unequal impacts of pollution on different groups of citizens. Safe and sustainable design and low-emission technology offer strong opportunities for sustainable innovation, cleaner economic recovery and EU leadership in green growth, the Union said.
EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius said “pollution affects everybody – through the air we breathe, the water we drink or the land we grow our food on. This needs to change. We need to mainstream our Zero Pollution Ambition into all EU policies. Achieving zero pollution is good for our health, good for the environment, but also for the economy as it has the potential to create ample green business opportunities and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”
The roadmap for the Zero Pollution Action Plan maps the following key areas to be explored:
- Implementation and enforcement – how public authorities, businesses and citizens can use EU rules on pollution more effectively
- Existing legislation related to health and environment
- Monitoring and governance of pollution prevention and reduction policies – how monitoring and governance can be strengthened both at EU and international level
- Societal change – exploring digital solutions and other means to drive the shift to more sustainable solutions in our society