Pollution doesn’t stop at our border so neither must our cooperation

April 04, 2016

Seb Dance MEP, Labour’s Environment Spokesperson in the European Parliament, today demanded that the UK government stop blocking moves to limit toxic farm emissions responsible for thousands of early deaths in the UK.

Speaking in advance of today's negotiations between the European Parliament and Member States, Seb Dance said:

“Over one third of the air pollution in the UK is blown in from other parts of Europe. Only action at a European level can solve the air quality crisis blighting London and other parts of the UK.

“Ammonia emissions from agriculture account for 40 per cent of air pollution related deaths in many European countries. Any legislation that omits these emissions from farms will be fatally flawed.

“Unfortunately this has not stopped the UK government from adopting a position that gives European farmers a license to emit these toxic chemicals despite growing evidence that they are responsible for thousands of British lives being taken early.

“The government must change its position and not block proposals that will have a significant impact on the air quality crisis taking 40,000 British lives prematurely every year.' 


Notes to Editors:

  1. Seb Dance MEP will call on the UK government not to block proposals for limits on agricultural emissions at today's negotiations between the European Parliament and Member States on the revision of the National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD), which sets limits to the amount of pollution every EU country can emit on a yearly basis.
  2. In October 2015 the European Parliament voted in favour of ambitious limits, despite significant pressure from many in the farming lobby and the UK government – which circulated an advisory paper to MEPs prior to the vote telling MEPs to vote against stricter emission limits for ammonia and particulates from the agricultural sector and to remove entirely any obligations for Members States to tackle methane.
  3. Today's trilogue meeting follows a weekend in which parts of the UK faced major air pollution alerts due to agricultural smog from toxic farm chemicals from France, Germany, the Benelux countries and Poland.
  4. Research published last week also shows that despite such pollution episodes often being blamed on 'Saharan dust' storms, it is in fact pollution from farms on the continent that causes a large proportion of the problem.

For further information, please contract Russell Antram at office@sebdance.co.uk or 07539352797

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