Extracts from the press conference by Janez Potočnik, on the air quality package

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-084876   Duration: 10:02:59  Lieu:
End production: 18/12/2013   First transmission: 18/12/2013
On 18 December 2013, Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, gave a press conference on the EU Clean Air Policy Package. The human toll for poor air quality is worse than for road traffic accidents, making it the number one environmental cause of premature death in the EU. It also impacts the quality of life due to asthma or respiratory problems. The European Commission was responding with new measures to reduce air pollution, adopted today. The clean air policy package updates existing legislation and further reduces harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their impact on human health and the environment.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels 00:00:05
10:00:10 General view of the press conference 00:00:05
10:00:15 Soundbite by Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, (in ENGLISH): It consists of four main components: First, a new Clean Air Programme for Europe, setting out the overall framework for future EU air policy; Second, proposal for EU ratification of new and internationally agreed commitments in the Gothenburg Protocol under the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution; Third, a revised National Emission Ceilings Directive; Fourth, a proposal for a new Directive for medium-sized combustion plants. 00:00:43
10:00:58 Cutaway of Interpreters box 00:00:04
10:01:02 Soundbite by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH): Why do we need to address air pollution in the first place? The short answer is because polluted air is an "invisible killer". It shortens many of our lives and makes many of us sick. In 2010, more than 400 000 people were estimated to have died prematurely from air pollution in the EU. 00:00:29
10:01:32 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
10:01:37 Soundbite by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH): Leaving aside the unacceptable human suffering that this causes, the economic cost of these health impacts is enormous, estimated at 3 to 9% of EU GDP. 00:00:24
10:02:01 Cutaway of a journalist 00:00:04
10:02:06 Soundbite by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH): Air pollution is not only unhealthy it is also expensive! In addition, air pollution also has serious environmental impacts, affecting the quality of fresh water, soil, and the ecosystem services they host. 00:00:17
10:02:24 Journalist taking notes 00:00:03
10:02:27 Soundbite by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH): The new policy I present today builds on a solid foundation. European Union Air Policy already in place has clearly worked and it has been effective. Air quality is in many ways an environmental success story; it is one of the few policy areas where we have seen an absolute decoupling between economic growth and environmental impact. 00:00:28
10:02:56 Cutaway of a journalist 00:00:03
10:02:59 Soundbite by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH): The main conclusion drawn in the review is that despite the progress we have made, we are far short of our long-term objective as outlined in the recently agreed 7th EU Environmental Action Programme: That is, to achieve levels of air quality that do not have significant negative impacts on human health and the environment. 00:00:27
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