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EEB: Clean up Europe’s toxic air

Act now to stop toxic air pollution from power plants! In the upcoming vote, support the adoption of strict limits on air pollution to stop the coal industry from poisoning our air and water. Protect our health and environment by insisting on a quick implementation of EU-wide emission standards for large combustion plants.

Why is this important?
Burning coal is killing us. Huge dirty coal power stations across Europe are poisoning our air and water, and making profits as we suffocate. Pollution doesn’t care about national borders, and what we breathe in France could be poisonous fumes from Germany or Britain. [1]

To stop it, we need to act together, across the EU – and now we have a chance to take an important step towards cleaning up Europe’s coal pollution.

After years of delay, lengthy consultations with stakeholders and thousands of unnecessary deaths caused by poisonous air pollution, the European Commission has proposed new pollution standards which would force the dirty coal industry to clean up their toxic fumes – or close for business. Just by making sure that every coal power plant in Europe applies those tried-and-tested technologies which the industry has known since the 1980s, we could cut deaths caused by dirty air by 85%. [2]

If enough governments vote in support of the new pollution limits at the EU’s Standing Committee for industrial emissions session on April 28, we will finally have the tools to force the dirty giants – like Germany or Poland – to clean up their air. But industry lobbyists are putting pressure on the key countries whose vote we need to get a majority, [3] and there is a real risk that the vital regulation will not be passed.

63 people in Europe die each day due to air pollution from coal. Thousands of people get sick with asthma or chronic heart and lung disease each year. We cannot afford delays. Burning dirty coal, when alternatives for clean, safe, cheap and climate-friendly energy already exist is no longer acceptable.

It’s time to say enough and demand action on toxic air pollution, but we only have days left before the decision-makers make up their minds. We’re launching a pan-European campaign to counter the shady industry lobbying and with the power of our community we will put pressure on the ministers of key countries who can swing the vote. We will flood them with demands from every European country to act against deadly coal pollution. And we will do it in 6 languages, to address them in their native language. But we need to act now, before they make up their minds how to vote. Please join!

[1] Europe’s Dark Cloud – How coal-burning countries are making their neighbours sick:

[2] Lifting Europe’s Dark Cloud: How cutting coal saves lives:

[3] The key countries, whose position will swing the vote, are Germany and the UK, and the supporting position of France, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain are crucial for the adoption of the pollution standards.

This petition is run in partnership with the European Environmental Bureau, Climate Action Network Europe, Health and Environment Alliance, WWF European Office, with the support of BUND – Friends of the Earth Germany and Sum of Us.

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