Greek air pollution deaths estimated

Greenpeace campaigns for government action to cut pollution on basis of new figures

Greenpeace Greece yesterday claimed that air pollution was killing over 1,300 Greeks per year and called for stronger government action to reduce emissions. The estimate was based on official information and World Health Organisation methodology, the group said, and showed similar levels of mortality from air pollution to those suggested by studies in other European countries (ENDS Daily 20 April 1999).

Greenpeace director, Stelios Psomas, told ENDS Daily that he expected to meet the country's environment minister next week to discuss the findings. The group has successfully goaded the government into action on air pollution in the past. In 1998, it used a mobile monitoring laboratory to measure benzene and particulate pollution in Athens, highlighting the fact that the state was not doing so. The following year the government began measuring benzene and this year it began measuring particulates.

Greenpeace wants a ban on diesel taxis, which it says are responsible for more than 20% of Athens' total vehicle mileage. The NGO also wants investment in tramways and light rail, improved energy efficiency for buildings, and more renewable energy generation and forests around urban areas.

Follow Up:
Greenpeace Greece, tel: +30 1 384 0774.

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