Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President for the European Green Pact inaugurated in Madrid together with the Third Vice President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, the third EU Pure Air Forum.
During his speech, Timmermans has delved into the message that the green transition in which the European Union is immersed can not leave anyone behind and this also applies to the quality of the air we breathe “Air pollution is a matter of inequality. Most of us cannot choose what air we breathe. For centuries, the most vulnerable groups have been more exposed to poor air quality; this is something that is still happening today. We need to act.”
Faced with this situation, the European Union has been committed to policies to improve the quality of the air we Europeans breathe since 1970. An example of this is the regulations that control the toxic emissions that are discharged into the atmosphere or that air quality is taken into account in the environmental and energy regulations of the EU. Timmermans recalled in his speech that the EU Action Plan Towards Zero Air Pollution recently presented by the Commission “takes concrete steps with the aim of reducing the health impact of air pollution by at least 55% by 2030, in addition to ensuring a toxic-free environment by 2050”.
He also recalled the link between air quality and health “It is sad and alarming that air pollution is the leading cause of environment-related premature death both in Europe and worldwide. In the European Union, almost 400,000 people die prematurely because of this problem. We need to change it.”
The third EU Pure Air Forum is being held at the Reina Sofia Museum until tomorrow, when the Commissioner responsible for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, will speak. The Forum, organized by the European Commission and the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, brings together experts to reflect on the development and implementation of effective air quality policies, projects and programs at European, national and local levels, and to report on the ongoing review of EU standards.
Timmermans will travel to Bilbao, where on Sunday he will hold a meeting with Nadia Calviño, First Vice-President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, and on Monday 22, he will speak at the European Table for Industry, which will have as its guest of honor H.M. King Felipe VI.