REPORT on the Commission communication on the Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Programme: Towards a Thematic Strategy for Air Quality
(COM(2001) 245 – C5‑0598/2001 – 2001/2249 (COS))
25 February 2002
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy
Rapporteur: Jim Fitzsimon
By letter of 4 May 2001, the Commission forwarded to Parliament a communication on the Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Programme: Towards a Thematic Strategy for Air Quality (COM(2001) 245 – 2001/2249(COS)).
At the sitting of 28 November 2001 the President of Parliament announced that she had referred the communication to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy as the committee responsible and the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism for their opinions (C5‑0598/2001).
The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy had appointed Jim Fitzsimons rapporteur at its meeting of 11 July 2001.
The committee considered the Commission communication and the draft report at its meetings of 22 January 2002 and 20 February 2002.
At the latter meeting it adopted the motion for a resolution unanimously.
The following were present for the vote: Caroline F. Jackson, chairman; Mauro Nobilia, Alexander de Roo and Anneli Hulthén, vice-chairmen; Jim Fitzsimons, rapporteur; and Jean-Louis Bernié, Hans Blokland, David Robert Bowe, John Bowis, Chris Davies, Avril Doyle, Anne Ferreira, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Cristina García-Orcoyen Tormo, Laura González Álvarez, Françoise Grossetête, Jutta D. Haug (for Dorette Corbey), Marie Anne Isler Béguin, Karin Jöns (for Bernd Lange), Eija-Riitta Anneli Korhola, Paul A.A.J.G. Lannoye (for Hiltrud Breyer), Torben Lund, Jules Maaten, Minerva Melpomeni Malliori, Jorge Moreira da Silva, Rosemarie Müller, Giuseppe Nisticò, Ria G.H.C. Oomen-Ruijten, Neil Parish (for Per-Arne Arvidsson), Marit Paulsen, Encarnación Redondo Jiménez (for María del Pilar Ayuso González), Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Guido Sacconi, Karin Scheele, Inger Schörling, María Sornosa Martínez, Catherine Stihler, Astrid Thors, Antonios Trakatellis, Kathleen Van Brempt and Phillip Whitehead.
The opinion of the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism.is attached. On 18 December 2001, the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy decided not to deliver an opinion.
The report was tabled on 25 February 2002 .
The deadline for tabling amendments will be indicated in the draft agenda for the relevant part-session.
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
European Parliament resolution on the Commission communication on the Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Programme: Towards a Thematic Strategy for Air Quality (COM(2001) 245 – C5‑0598/2001 – 2001/2249(COS))
The European Parliament,
– having regard to the Commission communication (COM(2001) 245 – C5‑0598/2001),
– having regard to Article 175 of the Treaty,
– having regard to the 6th environmental action programme,
– having regard to Directive 96/62/EC on ambient air quality assessment and management,
– having regard to Directive 94/66/EC on large combustion plants (LCPs),
– having regard to Directive 2001/81/EC on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants (NECs),
– having regard to Directive 96/61/EC on integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC),
– having regard to Directive 99/13/EC on volatile organic compounds (VOCs),
– having regard to Directive 96/62/EC relating to ozone in ambient air,
– having regard to Rule 47(1) of its Rules of Procedure,
– having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and the opinion of the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism (A5‑0055/2002),
A. whereas the 6th environmental action programme prescribes the development of thematic strategies in the environmental field, whereas the CAFE (Clean Air For Europe) programme is the first of these strategies,
B. whereas the general objective of the CAFE programme is to draw up a long-term integrated strategic policy for combating air pollution in order to protect human health and the environment,
C. whereas combating air pollution is one of the main aspects of sustainable development policy; whereas, moreover, the objective of sustainable development cannot be attained without a genuinely integrated policy to combat air pollution,
D. whereas the 5th environmental action programme states that "All people should be effectively protected against recognised health risks from air pollution",
E. whereas Article 11(2) of Decision No 2179/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council states that particular attention shall be given to developing and implementing a strategy with the goal of ensuring that critical loads, in relation to exposure to acidifying, eutrophying and photochemical air pollutants, are not exceeded,
F. whereas the European Parliament has on numerous occasions underlined that critical loads and levels of acidifying, eutrophying and photochemical air pollutants should not be exceeded after 2020,
G. having regard to the progress made in combating air pollution under the Auto-Oil I and II programmes, in respect of some sectors and some pollutants, as a result of technical and non-technical measures,
H. having regard to the work that remains to be done in all pollutant industries and in respect of the main pollutants, including CO2, the level of which is forecast to continue rising into 2005,
I. whereas some pollutants are not subject to regulatory proposals,
J. whereas, inter alia, ground-level ozone and particulate matter pose a serious risk to public health in Europe, especially for vulnerable groups of the population,
K. whereas Community legislation against air pollution is based on different structures and methodologies, whereas a coherent framework is needed,
L. whereas a large number of these Community legislative texts are due for review and revision in 2004,
1. Welcomes the Commission's proposal to gather a main part of its measures against air pollution in one thematic strategy which will provide a useful tool for the Community to attain its long-term objective of critical loads and levels for the four air pollutants covered by the directive on national emission ceilings and the secondary air pollutants arising from these four pollutants;
2. Regards the CAFE strategy as encouraging an integrated approach to Community environmental legislation, but stresses that its general nature must not be an obstacle to the introduction or review of more specific measures; calls on the Commission to inform the Council and Parliament regularly about this; considers that the general approach must not lead to the delaying or abandonment of the assessment and possible review of existing air quality directives and national emissions ceilings;
3. Notes that several Community legislative texts concerning the combating of air pollution are due to be revised in 2004; expects the Commission to present its reviews of the legislation in force followed by proposals for revision so that the revised legislation may be applied as swiftly as possible;
4. Believes that the CAFE programme could demonstrate the feasibility of actions and type of measures needed in order to reach the Community's long-term objectives in relation to air pollution;
5. Stresses the urgency of this activity, and the necessity that CAFE proposals for measures are delivered according to the schedule laid down, i.e. by the end of 2004 at the latest;
6. Calls on the Commission, in view of the considerable work that remains to be done in the fight against air pollution, to propose further courses of action for all industries and pollutants, whether they are subject to regulation or not;
7. Calls for present or future assessment of chemical substances to be used in the development of legislation on air pollutants;
8. Believes it is essential to draw up practical proposals to link the new programme to hitherto existing air quality measures;
9. Underlines that one important task of the CAFE programme should be to establish harmonised reporting requirements for Member States' emission inventories in order to facilitate comparability of data;
10. Notes the structural links between air quality related measures in different policy areas, especially the strong link between air quality and climate change measures, therefore urges the Commission to co-ordinate its efforts in these two areas;
11. Agrees with the Commission that CAFE needs to provide strong guidance for the development of sectoral, source-based measures to reduce emissions, and that effective structural links between CAFE and the sectoral strategies therefore must be established, since such links are essential in order to ensure that the necessary measures (whether technical or non-technical) are taken and that scenarios used within CAFE and other policy areas are consistent;
12. Notes in this respect the Commission's proposals concerning the European programme on climate change and the emission rights exchange system; in the light of current levels of air pollution and the role played by the European Union in order to reach an agreement at the last Conference of parties to the Kyoto Protocol held in Bonn, calls on Parliament and the Council to adopt ambitious, balanced legislation on the basis of these two proposals to enable the European Union to play the leading role which it has assumed in combating climate change;
13. Shares the Commission's view that existing concentrations of particulate matter and ground-level ozone pose a serious threat to the environment, the architectural heritage and public health, especially in the large cities and for vulnerable populations groups; therefore urges the Commission to propose promptly policy measures aimed at reducing emissions of ozone precursors and particulate matter and its precursors, in particular those not covered by Directive 2001/81/EC;
14 Stands by its efforts towards a sustainable transport policy and calls on the Commission, in the context of CAFE, to introduce for inland waterways and rail transport the agreements on emissions standards which have been reached with the motor industry; also calls on the Commission and the Member States to take a proactive stance in the relevant international fora, in order to set emissions standards for air transport in consultation with the aviation industry; considers that there should be a level playing field between the demands made on international aviation and the demands made of other industrial and transport sectors;
15. Considers that sustainable transport cannot be achieved solely by adopting technical measures; notes the need for a change in the behaviour of both consumers and producers; recognises the urgent need to develop alternative fuels and means of transport in order to contribute to such a change of behaviour; calls on the Commission to promote the relevant research in the context of CAFE;
16. Underlines the importance of strengthening links between research and policy making, however, is of the opinion that scientific uncertainty should not be used as an excuse for not taking action against emissions that are likely to cause long-term damaging effects;
17. Considers it essential to set up a monitoring system to ensure that the programme operates effectively;
18. Commends the Commission for fully involving the candidate countries in the CAFE programme and sees this participation as a prerequisite for a smooth integration of Community air quality legislation into the legislative body of candidate countries; notes that there was no funding for combating air pollution in the ISPA budget for the year 2000; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the applicant countries to promote projects concerning the combating of air pollution so that the applicant countries can play their part in combating air pollution and in the 'Clean Air for Europe' programme;
19. Underlines the importance of broad consultation with relevant stakeholders in the process leading up to new policy proposals in order to further improve political credibility;
20. Notes that there is an increasingly large overlap in both policy and geographical terms between the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and Community air quality policy, therefore shares the Commission's view that enhanced co-operation with CLRTAP is essential if CAFE is to add real value to policy-making and avoid wastage of resources;
21. Shares the Commission's view on the need to increase transparency and bring Community policy closer to the citizens, therefore underlines that regular, accurate information on the progress and priorities of environmental policy is essential in order to increase public trust and involvement, as well as for allowing the public to influence policy being made in their name;
22. Calls on the Commission to draw up clear, transparent rules for the participation of pressure groups. All participants must be able to take part without discrimination, taking into account their different financial resources;
23. Expresses some concern regarding the financing of the CAFE programme, especially concerning funding needed to ensure the participation and active involvement of candidate countries and NGOs in the programme and its working groups;
24. Calls on the Commission to ensure that Parliament is kept informed of developments, for example by means of six-monthly progress reports, regular workshops, etc.;
25. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, Commission and the Parliaments of the Member States.
The Commission proposes to gather all its actions for improving air quality in one single strategy – the Clean Air For Europe (CAFE) programme. The strategy will include a review of the implementation of air quality directives; improving the monitoring of air quality and information to the public as well as priorities for further actions and monitoring of "hotspots" where emission densities are especially high.
The CAFE programme is also the first of the thematic strategies outlined in the 6th Environmental Action Programme.
According to the Commission, the CAFE programme should evolve into an on-going, cyclical programme with 2004 as a first key target date, since many important air quality directives such as the air quality daughter directive and the LCP and NEC directives are due to be revised in this year. The specific objectives of the programme will be:
1. to develop, collect and validate scientific information on ambient air quality, emission and air quality projections and cost-effectiveness studies,
2. to support the implementation and review the effectiveness of existing legislation, in particular the air quality daughter directives, the decision on exchange of information and national emission ceilings (NECs),
3. to ensure that measures needed to achieve air quality and deposition objectives cost-effectively are taken at the relevant level through the development of effective structural links with the relevant policy areas,
4. to determine an overall, integrated strategy at regular intervals which defines appropriate air quality objectives for the future and cost-effective measures for meeting those objectives,
5. to disseminate the technical and policy information arising from implementation of the programme.
The main focus of the CAFE programme will be on particulate matter and ground-level ozone, since these pollutants are widely considered to have clear negative effects on health, and major efforts are needed in order to attain acceptable levels. Other air pollution problems such as acidification, eutrophication, and damage to buildings are also to be dealt with under CAFE. The programme will also monitor developments in regard to pollutants that are yet unregulated, such as certain heavy metals.
DG Environment will ensure general co-ordination of the programme. External groups will be set up to provide advice and guidance from political stakeholders, to co-ordinate the technical work within CAFE and to obtain technical contributions from national experts and stakeholders. These external groups include:
- a CAFE steering group which will advice the Commission on the strategic direction of the programme. It will be composed of representatives of the Member States and candidate countries, the European Parliament, stakeholders and relevant international organisations,
- a Technical Analysis Group (TAG) that will co-ordinate the technical analysis work carried out within CAFE. The Group will include representatives from the Commission, the European Environment Agency and the World Health Organisation,
- structural working groups and ad hoc working groups will also be set in order to gather and evaluate research and technical analysis.
OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL POLICY, TRANSPORT AND TOURISM
15 January 2002
for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy
on The Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Programme: Towards a Thematic Strategy for Air Quality
(COM(2001) 245 – C5‑0589/2001 – 2001/2249 (COS))
Draftsman: Rijk van Dam
The Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism appointed Rijk van Dam draftsman at its meeting of 11 September 2001.
It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 21 November and 19 December 2001.
At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions by 29 votes to14 , with1 abstention.
The following were present for the vote:Konstantinos Hatzidakis, chairman; Emmanouil Mastorakisand Helmuth Markov, vice-chairmen/; Rijk van Damdraftsman and vice-chairman; Pedro Aparicio Sánchez (for Carmen Cerdeira Morterero), Sir Robert Atkins, Emmanouil Bakopoulos, Rolf Berend, Theodorus J.J. Bouwman, Philip Charles Bradbourn, Felipe Camisón Asensio, Luigi Cocilovo (for Giorgio Lisi), Garrelt Duin, Giovanni Claudio Fava, Markus Ferber (for Ingo Schmitt), Mathieu J.H. Grosch, Ewa Hedkvist Petersen, Mary Honeyball, Juan de Dios Izquierdo Collado, Georg Jarzembowski, Elisabeth Jeggle (for Karla M.H. Peijs), Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Brigitte Langenhagen (for Reinhard Rack), Sérgio Marques, Linda McAvan (for Mark Francis Watts), Erik Meijer, Francesco Musotto, Camilo Nogueira Román, Juan Ojeda Sanz, Josu Ortuondo Larrea, Wilhelm Ernst Piecyk, Samuli Pohjamo, Alonso José Puerta, Marieke Sanders-ten Holte, Gilles Savary, Elisabeth Schroedter (for Reinhold Messner), Brian Simpson, Dirk Sterckx, Ulrich Stockmann, Margie Sudre, Ari Vatanen, Adriaan Vermeer (for Isidoro Sánchez García, pursuant to Rule 153 (2)), Demetrio Volcic, Brigitte Wenzel-Perillo (forCarlos Ripoll i Martínez Bedoya).
In its communication (COM(2001) 245) the Commission notes that in spite of improvements in air quality – partly thanks to the Auto Oil I and II programmes – a determined effort is still needed to tackle the problem of particulate matter and ozone. Particulate matter, which is released inter alia by combustion, affects the respiratory system even in very small concentrations. Ozone, which is caused by pollutants reacting to sunlight, also has a harmful effect on the respiratory system as well as harming the immune system, vegetation, forests and buildings.
The Commission intends, in the context of the sixth Action Programme on the Environment, to pursue a more integrated policy with a view to tackling the problems of air pollution. To that end, the Clean Air For Europe (CAFE) programme provides for technical analysis and policy development in this area and should lead to a thematic strategy by 2004 at the latest, consisting of:
1. Technical analysis and scientific content
This concerns the calculation, collection and validation of scientific data on the basis of which air quality thresholds and targets can be determined.
2. Implementation and Review
How appropriate are the current regulations? The review of a number of air quality directives planned for 2003 and 2004, and the directive on national emissions ceilings, are to become an integral part of the CAFE programme.
3. Linking with Sectoral and Source-Specific Strategies
General air quality requirements (e.g. national NOx emission ceilings) must be set in close coordination with sectoral and source-specific measures.
4. Strategy development
First and foremost there is a need for clearly visible milestones and deliverables.
5. Dissemination of results and stakeholder involvement
Regular and accurate information on Community policy is essential in order to boost public confidence.
6. Cooperation with third countries
With the enlargement of the European Union approaching, CAFE needs to include the Candidate Countries within its geographical scope from the beginning.
Groups within society which are vulnerable to air pollution, such as children and people with heart disease, deserve additional consideration in the context of the CAFE programme.
The Commission communication holds out the prospect of legislation which is currently still fragmented being treated and applied as an integrated whole. That is a positive development.
However, your draftsman would like to make a number of comments on the document.
The structure of the strategy is very generally formulated and is thus hard to assess. The evolution of the stages described is also complex and it is currently hard to gain an overview of it. In order to assess properly the details of its layout and development, a report should therefore be submitted regularly to the Council and Parliament. There is also a need to ensure that efforts to arrive at a ‘comprehensive strategy’ do not lead to the delaying or abandonment of the assessment and possible review of existing air quality directives and national emissions ceilings.
It is important that involving stakeholders is recognised as being essential to the success of CAFE. Not only industry but also bodies such as Parliament and NGOs must be involved in a balanced way in its implementation. A number of elements also need to be included in future plans and programmes in order to encourage the achievement of a sustainable transport system.
In the evaluation of the Auto Oil I and II programmes, two important conclusions emerged. The first was that setting fuel quality requirements and emission standards (voluntary or otherwise) for combustion engines has had a very positive effect on reducing motor vehicle emissions. For that reason it seems sensible to extend to other sectors the agreements on emission standards which have been concluded with the motor industry. For air transport this should be done in an international framework. The second conclusion was that sustainable transport cannot be achieved solely by adopting technical measures. It is at least as important to raise the awareness of consumers and producers and to influence their behaviour.
The behaviour of consumers and producers can be changed in a number of ways. Consumers need to be made aware of the fact that transport does not exist in a vacuum but is the result of consumer demands for goods and mobility. Accordingly the consumer can be guided towards alternatives: products for which less transport is needed, less polluting fuels or public transport. Scientific research on external costs and alternative fuels may be helpful in this connection.
Producers must be encouraged to arrange their production and logistical processes in such a way that less transport is necessary (transport prevention). The authorities can contribute to transport prevention by shrewd regional planning which does not generate unnecessary traffic flows.
The Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following points in its motion for a resolution:
1. Regards the CAFE strategy as encouraging an integrated approach to Community environmental legislation, but stresses that its general nature must not be an obstacle to the introduction or review of more specific measures; calls on the Commission to inform the Council and Parliament regularly about this; considers that the general approach must not lead to the delaying or abandonment of the assessment and possible review of existing air quality directives and national emissions ceilings;
2. Is pleased with the acknowledgement that the involvement of stakeholders is essential for the success of CAFE; considers that a balanced group of stakeholders must be set up;
3. Stands by its efforts towards a sustainable transport policy and calls on the Commission, in the context of CAFE, to introduce for inland waterways and rail transport the agreements on emissions standards which have been reached with the motor industry; also calls on the Commission and the Member States to take a proactive stance in the relevant international fora, in order to set emissions standards for air transport in consultation with the aviation industry; considers that there should be a level playing field between the demands made on international aviation and the demands made of other industrial and transport sectors;
4. Considers that sustainable transport cannot be achieved solely by adopting technical measures; notes the need for a change in the behaviour of both consumers and producers; recognises the urgent need to develop alternative fuels and means of transport in order to contribute to such a change of behaviour; calls on the Commission to promote the relevant research in the context of CAFE;
5. Calls on the Commission to promote awarennes raising campaigns and benchmarking actions on non motorised mobility and on collective transport in urban or congested areas;
6. Reiterates its support for the principle that each transport user should pay for the costs he has generated (the ‘user pays’ principle); calls on the Commission, in the context of CAFE, to encourage the collection and processing of the scientific data underpinning the calculation of the external (environmental) costs of the various modes of transport;
7. Stresses that planning decisions can also have a considerable impact on traffic flows; calls on the Member States, alongside the implementation of the CAFE strategy, to give greater consideration in their planning discussions to the traffic generation effect in both residential and working areas.