The 2nd European Reading Air Forum

The 2nd European Reading Air Forum
The 2nd European Reading Air Forum

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]On November 28-29, 2019, our Western neighbor, Slovakia hosted the Second EU Clean Air Forum in its capital, Bratislava.[/box]

The first EU Clean Air Forum was held in November 2017 in Paris. Then the Forum ended with a clear message: solutions for improving air quality are still available, but in order to successfully combat air pollution, we need to work together between economic sectors, at different levels of decision-making, in different policy areas, and with citizens.

Today, air pollution continues to cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Air pollution is still an environmental cause of premature death in Europe. The World Health Organization provides statistics driven by Europe:

– more than 130 cities across Europe do not meet air quality standards;

– polluted air costs over € 4 billion in healthcare and € 16 billion over lost days;

– particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide are major air pollutants in cities and are very harmful to human health;

– 72% of Europeans want publicity to improve air quality;

– 36% of lung cancer deaths;

– 34% of stroke deaths;

– 27% of deaths from heart disease.

We don’t see dirty air, but it can be deadly. Clean air is essential for a healthy human life and for the planet, these benefits become a sound economic foundation for business.

Europe currently spends at least € 4 billion a year on clean air. Clean air monitoring not only solves many issues, it also creates new business and job opportunities. Steps must be taken as soon as possible to take action to reduce hazardous emissions and promote further innovations.

The introduction of new approaches in business is an important area of ​​business today. Some areas that contribute in improving air quality may be related to the production of “clean transport” – such as electric trucks or buses. Modernization of existing, polluting vehicles, including shipbuilding, is needed. Society must apply aircraft quotas too.

Positive environmental factors include:

  • Usage of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar.
  • Implementation of clean industrial processes.
  • Improving energy efficiency by repairing buildings.
  • Replacement of old appliances, such as old ovens, boilers and refrigerators by those that consume less energy.
  • Better animal feeds and low-emission fertilizers, manure storage and process interventions.

The above refers to ways to overcome the environmental crisis. I would point out that not applying the measures does not mean economic stability. Polluted air results in the loss of € 3 billion in lost profits from lost crops and € 1 billion in construction damage. In addition, climate change incurs non-renewable losses. For example, this year’s flood in Venice in a few weeks has caused losses of 1 billion euros, not to mention the loss of cultural heritage of mankind.

The event was held in a high-level closed format with the participation of the first persons of the Slovak Republic: recently elected President Suzana Caputova, Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, State Secretary of the Ministry of Ecology Norbert Kurilla, Minister of Ecology Laszlo Solymos, Minister of Ecology of the Czech Republic Richard Brabec, Minister of Tourism of Austrian Republic Maria Patek, Minister of Ecology of the Republic of Finland Terhi Leohtonen, Euro Commissioner for Ecology Karmenu Vella, Ministers of Ecology of the Federal Republic of Germany and Netherlands, Members of the Euro Commission, Euro Council, Euro Parliament, members of the World Health Organization.

Such cooperation of the international community has a positive effect on the creation of a single environmental organization. Today, one-off meetings do not bring the necessary result.

Officially, Ukraine did not participate in the event, but is actively negotiating with Members of the European Parliament on the implementation of environmentally significant decisions.

[author title=”Olga Tereshchenko” image=””]Ukrainian International lawyer[/author]