Green 10 to Timmermans: “Do not kill laws crucial for our health, environment and the economy”

EEB Reactions

This is a reaction from the members of the Green 10 whose members are the European Environmental Bureau, Transport&Environment, Birdlife, Greenpeace, WWF, CEE Bankwatch Network, Climate Action Network, Friends of the Earth, Health & Environment Alliance, Naturefriends International.

Brussels, 11 December 2014

The 10 leading environmental NGOs in Europe have written to European Commission Vice-President Timmermans to protest against the possible removal of the Clean Air and Waste Packages. According to initial press reports, the European Commission intends to withdraw both sets of proposals and make the announcement along with its 2015 Work Programme next week.

Angelo Caserta, Director of Birdlife Europe and current Chair of the Green 10, states: “We are deeply concerned about these developments. Environmental protection and sustainability seem to be absent from the Commission’s Work Plan for 2015 and Vice-President Timmermans is even planning to withdraw two important pieces of legislation that would bring major benefits for citizens’ health and Europe’s environment and economy – the Clean Air package and Waste packages.”

If it withdraws the air quality proposal, the European Commission will miss out on the opportunity of preventing 58,000 premature deaths every year. Across Europe the current toll is 400,000 early deaths every year. The Commission is also choosing to ignore huge potential benefits to the European economy if the package is adopted. It would deliver health benefits of between €40-140 billion in avoided external costs and €3 billion in direct health benefits due to higher productivity of the workforce, lower healthcare costs, higher crop yields and less damage to buildings.” 

The Green 10 letter also states: “Withdrawing the circular economy package would go against the number one priority of the European Commission. Europe would fail to create as many as 180,000 new jobs through turning waste into a resource while making business more competitive and reducing demand for and dependence from costly scarce resources from outside the continent.”


Notes to editors
Link to Green 10 Open Letter

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