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Reducing air pollution: National emission ceilings for air pollutants [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (6th edition)

Reducing air pollution: National emission ceilings for air pollutants

© daizuoxin / Fotolia

Despite significant progress in recent decades, air pollution levels in the European Union still have adverse impacts on the environment and on health. The European Commission estimates that health-related costs of air pollution in the EU range from 390 to 940 billion euros per year.

The proposed directive, which would replace the current National Emission Ceilings Directive, sets binding national reduction objectives for six air pollutants (SO2, NOx, NMVOCs, NH3, PM2.5 and CH4) to be met by 2020 and 2030. It will also implement the Gothenburg Protocol as amended in 2012. The European Commission estimates that implementation costs would range from 2.2 to 3.3 billion euros per year.

After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 14 December 2016. Member States are required to transpose the new directive into national law by 1 July 2018.


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants and amending Directive 2003/35/EC

Committee responsible:


Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)

Julie Girling (ECR, UK)

COM(2013)920 of 18.12.2013

procedure ref.: 2013/0443(COD)


Ordinary legislative procedure

Procedure completed: Directive (EU) 2016/2284

OJ L 344, 17.12.2016, p. 1

Stage: adoption


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7 thoughts on “Reducing air pollution: National emission ceilings for air pollutants [EU Legislation in Progress]

  1. I hope this goal is set to high, you need to change the behaviour of the Europeans and also its industry (inside and outside Europe), production, cars houses, consumption of energy, according to the graphs in this report people always do the opposite, of what they are told to do.
    Read post:
    Co2 per Region and Country EMEA 1970 til 2014 comparison

    Ton (Mg) CO2 per capita Captiva * Population for the EMEA Regions and per region country top ten per region and per average Decade. Totals per Region per year. Totals per top ten per Decade. Totals per Region per Decade. Years 1970 till 2014

    Source: EDGAR Data and Worldbank


    Documents are available in PDF on:

    Posted by Edward Feldbrugge | December 31, 2015, 00:13
  2. Could I ask why the progree bar at the bottom of this article has a different order to some of the other ‘Legislation in Progress’ posts? i.e. the “Post-2020 reform of the EU Emissions Trading System”. Thanks.

    Posted by connorsSL | November 9, 2015, 12:57
    • The points on the arrow represent a mixture of formal, automatic and informal or non-automatic steps in the ordinary legislative procedure. As trilogue negotiations are an informal procedure, not set out in the EU treaties, they are not automatic nor do they come at a fixed point in the process. In Parliament, rule 73 of the rules of procedure leave the decision to open trilogue negotiations with the Council and Commission, and the mandate for them, to the parliamentary committee responsible. However, in some cases a vote in plenary on the amendments the committee is seeking may be seen as adding weight to Parliament’s negotiators in the trilogue process, therefore in some cases the trilogue stage occurs after a plenary vote. In either case, the outcome of the trilogue discussions needs to be endorsed by both the committee responsible and the plenary before the legislation can be adopted.

      Posted by EPRSAdmin | November 16, 2015, 10:49
  3. Air pollution is caused by emissions. Emissions from several sources mainly from heat
    generating plants which are widely using in the industry, household appliances and vehicles. There are some ways that can be effective to reduce the air pollution. Using catalytic converter is a great way of protecting huge amount of fume.

    Posted by Whitebeam | April 16, 2015, 19:57


  1. Pingback: Reducing air pollution: National emission ceilings for air pollutants [EU Legislation in Progress] | - January 23, 2017

  2. Pingback: National emission ceilings for air pollutants [Plenary Podcast] | European Parliamentary Research Service Blog - November 18, 2016

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