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Zero pollution action plan

Towards a zero pollution ambition for air, water and soil.

Zero pollution ambition

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. 

Objectives

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

Actions

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.

Timeline

Previous and upcoming zero pollution actions

  1. 31 May - 4 June 2021
    EU Green Week 2021 on the theme of zero pollution
  2. Q2 2021
    Provisional adoption date of zero pollution action plan
  3. 10 February 2021
    Stakeholder workshop on the zero pollution action plan
  4. 11 November 2020
    Launch of zero pollution action plan public consultation
  5. 14 October 2020
    Presentation of chemicals strategy
  6. 1 October 2020
    Presentation of zero pollution action plan roadmap
  7. 11 December 2019
    Presentation of the European Green Deal

Policy areas

  • 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.

Documents

Roadmap - zero pollution action plan
English
(831.17 KB - PDF)
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Factsheet - eliminating pollution
English
(1.44 MB - PDF)
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