The leaders of all European Member States have received a letter from the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) urging them to oppose any withdrawal of the European Commission’s Clean Air and Circular Economy packages.
Reports have suggested that both policy areas are on a shortlist of legislation that could be axed by Commission President Juncker (pictured) and First Vice-President Timmermans.
This is despite both packages being under consideration by both the European Parliament and the Council of EU Ministers.
The circular economy package was published by the previous European Commission in July and proposed a 70 per cent municipal recycling rate and 80 per cent packaging recycling rate by 2030 as well as a ban on landfill.
EEB secretary-general Jeremy Wates in an open leader to Prime Ministers and other leaders across Europe said: “The Commission might like us to believe that by withdrawing these proposals, it would be responding to public demand for less intervention from Brussels. In fact, successive polls show considerable public support for action on the environment. Both the air and waste packages can deliver considerable economic and environmental benefits, with the former protecting human health and the latter creating large numbers of jobs.
“Protecting the environment is clearly nowhere near this Commission’s agenda. But placing it on the sacrificial altar of deregulation is a big mistake. 400,000 people will continue dying prematurely every year because of air pollution and we will miss the boat when it comes to becoming a green, circular economy.”