Council cool on new EU air quality programme

Environment ministers question Cafe ambition levels, debate Life+, GMOs and chemicals

EU member states have given a cool reception to European commission plans for a new air quality drive under the Cafe programme. Meeting in Brussels last Friday, several environment ministers said the strategy’s ambition level was too high. Others wanted extra flexibility to meet existing EU air quality marks, and opposed plans to make new fine particle pollution limits legally binding.

Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas put on a brave face after the first ministerial debate of Cafe. "I would have hoped to hear stronger support for our proposals," he said. "But it’s clear member states are still examining them…I’m sure support will grow."

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