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Europe’s conservative lawmakers are at it again — this time on air pollution

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Politico or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: The European Parliament is gearing up for a vote on the revision of the EU’s air pollution rules to decide whether to align the EU’s current guidelines on air pollution levels, with the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO)
• The outcome, uncertain and contentious, mirrors the divisions previously seen during July's vote on restoring degraded ecosystems

🔭 The context: This isn't the first time environmental issues are causing rifts in the European Parliament; for the second time the center-right European People's Party (EPP) is attempting to water down the Green Deal legislation
• Meanwhile, divisions are evident within the liberal Renew group, making the outcome unpredictable

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: According to the European Environment Agency pollution caused more than 300,000 premature deaths in 2019 and remains the main environmental risk to human health within the EU
• Despite recent improvements to the EU's air quality one challenge remains: finding a balance between urgent environmental action and practical implementation for member states

⏭️ What's next: The original European Commission proposal advocated for full alignment with the WHO's guidelines by 2050
• With the environment committee (ENVI) pushing for a 2030 alignment and the EPP lobbying for softer targets, a middle ground is being sought, with suggestions now hinting at a potential 2035 compromise

💬 One quote: “Following the worst health crisis in a century, we should recognize how much citizens value public efforts to protect their health and well-being" (Javi López, Member of the European Parliament)

📈 One stat: A staggering 97% of the EU’s urban populace faced exposure to fine particulate matter concentrations surpassing WHO guidelines in 2021

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

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