Pollution harms our health and our environment. It is the largest environmental cause of multiple mental and physical diseases and of premature deaths, especially among children, people with certain medical conditions and the elderly.
In addition to affecting people’s health, pollution is one of the main reasons for the loss of biodiversity. It reduces the ability of ecosystems to provide services such as carbon sequestration and decontamination.
In 2021, the European Commission will adopt the action plan “Towards a Zero Pollution Ambition for air, water and soil – building a Healthier Planet for Healthier People”.
The zero pollution action plan public consultation was launched on 11 November 2020, and can be accessed here.
The EU’s zero pollution ambition aims to secure healthy ecosystems and a healthy living environment for Europeans.
It intends to
- better prevent and remedy pollution from air, water, soil, and consumer products
- mainstream the zero pollution ambition into all policy developments
- further decouple economic growth from the increase of pollution
- strengthen the links between environmental protection, sustainable development and people’s well-being
The European Green Deal announced headline actions on zero pollution.
- Chemical strategy for sustainability - to better protect citizens and the environment against hazardous chemicals.
- Zero pollution action plan for water, air and soil - to better prevent, remedy, monitor and report on pollution.
- Revising measures to address pollution from large industrial installations - to ensure they are consistent with climate, energy and circular economy policies.
Previous and upcoming zero pollution actions
- 31 May - 4 June 2021EU Green Week 2021 on the theme of zero pollution
- Q2 2021Provisional adoption date of zero pollution action plan
- 10 February 2021Stakeholder workshop on the zero pollution action plan
- 11 November 2020Launch of zero pollution action plan public consultation
- 14 October 2020Presentation of chemicals strategy
- 1 October 2020Presentation of zero pollution action plan roadmap
- 11 December 2019Presentation of the European Green Deal
- Air : EU action to improve air quality and reduce air pollution.
- Chemicals : EU action to ensure chemicals are safe, for health and the environment.
- Circular economy: The EU’s transition to a circular economy with a focus on green growth.
- Industry : EU action to make industry more sustainable and reduce industrial emissions.
- Marine and coastal environment : EU action to protect Europe’s coasts, seas and oceans.
- Nature and biodiversity: EU action on environmental conservation and protection.
- Noise : EU action to reduce environmental noise pollution.
- Plastics : EU action on plastic production and pollution to contribute to a circular economy.
- Soil and land : EU action for the sustainable use of soil and land.
- Water : EU action on water issues, to protect water resources.
- 12 November 2020: Commission consults on Zero Pollution Action Plan
- 15 October 2020: EEA Signals 2020 - Towards zero pollution in Europe
- 1 October 2020: Publication of Zero Pollution Action Plan roadmap
- 22 September 2020: Evaluation of the Industrial Emissions Directive
- 17 September 2020: European Green Deal call under Horizon 2020
- 10 September 2020: 10th Report on the implementation of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive
- 8 September 2020: EEA Report: 'Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe’