The zero-pollution ambition for Europe was announced in the European Green Deal, part of the European Commission’s strategy to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals agenda. Its key aim is to protect citizens and ecosystems by better monitoring, reporting, preventing and remedying pollution.

The zero-pollution ambition can help the EU further decouple prosperity from harmful levels of pollution, while enhancing EU resilience and strategic autonomy. This can also support a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery by, for instance: helping to mainstream the zero-pollution ambition in recovery efforts; promoting adequate and timely information on the health and economic benefits of acting on pollution; and exploring further development of business practices that reduce pollution, create job opportunities and reduce social inequalities, as pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people.

As part of the wider zero-pollution ambition, the European Commission has already announced actions to reduce pollution in several Green Deal initiatives, in particular the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy.

Foreseen to be published in 2020 and 2021, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the Zero-Pollution Action Plan will help boost cleaner products and technologies across all relevant economic sectors, prioritising pollution prevention over remediation. Following an open public consultation, the Zero-Pollution Action Plan is foreseen for the first half of 2021.

The Zero-Pollution Action Plan will, amongst other priorities, focus on enhancing implementation of existing and new legislation, revising key pollution control instruments, addressing pollutants of emerging concern, and setting up an integrated zero-pollution monitoring and outlook framework. The European Environment Agency will be a key partner in these activities

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Last modified: June 29, 2021