EU takes Portugal to court

Poor levels of air quality

Deisel pollution - the EU is taking Portugal to court

The mainland edition of the Jornal reports on today’s announcement, with the COP 26 Sumit on climate change having closed only yesterday, that the European Commission has decided to bring an action against Portugal in the Court of Justice of the European Union due to poor air quality caused by high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

According to a statement from the community executive, Portugal has been experiencing a continuous and persistent excess of the annual limit value for nitrogen dioxide in three air quality zones: North Lisbon, Porto Litoral and Entre Douro e Minho.

Air pollution caused by nitrogen dioxide in these areas results mainly from road traffic, in particular from diesel vehicles.

Furthermore, Portugal has not adopted adequate measures to limit the period of exceedance to a minimum, leading to today’s announcement of a formal court action.

If the limit values ​​set by European Union (EU) legislation on ambient air quality (Directive 2008/50/EC) are exceeded, Member States must adopt air quality plans that ensure the application of appropriate measures to reduce the period of exceedance as much as possible. In May 2019, the European Commission sent Portugal a notice to comply on air quality, which was followed, in February 2020, by a reasoned opinion. Thus the EU Court action now.

Efforts so far unsatisfactory

Therefore, the Commission considers that the efforts of the Portuguese authorities have so far been unsatisfactory and insufficient, and therefore decided to bring an action against Portugal in the EU Court of Justice.

Brussels argues that full implementation of the air quality standards enshrined in EU legislation is essential to effectively protect human health and preserve the natural environment.

The European Ecological Pact and the Zero Pollution Action Plan highlight the importance of reducing air pollution, one of the main factors that negatively affect human health.

Air pollution by NO2 results mainly from human activities, such as road traffic, namely from diesel vehicles, and from industry. This type of pollution causes serious illnesses such as asthma and reduced lung function.

Thanks as usual to PeterA for the link

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2 thoughts on “EU takes Portugal to court”

  1. Looking at some of the vehicles spewing fumes on the roads of Madeira, it is no surprise that this has provoked legislation in the three of the more urban areas of the mainland.
    Logically, you would have thought vehicle emissions would be tested as part of the legal “MOT” procedure at the inspection centre here, but I am not sure that they are – I must pay more attention next time!


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