Governments, including the UK, are allowing energy industry representatives to help draw up Europe’s air quality limits resulting in proposed standards on coal plant emissions that are weaker than China’s, claim the campaign group.
New limits on air pollution in Europe have been watered down because governments are allowing some of the worst polluters to help draw up the rules, according to a Greenpeace investigation.
The Guardian has also learned that despite UK claims to the contrary, energy industry representatives repeatedly andforcefully pushed for weaker pollution limits at meetings in Brussels.
As a result of ongoing lobbying, the proposed European Union standards on toxic emissions from coal plants will be less strict than in China, the green campaign group said.
Greenpeace analysed the backgrounds of hundreds of representatives who have been appointed by governments to sit on a key official group that is formulating new limits on air pollution across Europe.
It found that out of 352 members of the technical working group, 183 are either employed by the companies that are being regulated, or by lobby groups that represent those companies.
“Toxic emissions are killing thousands of people across Europe every year, but rather than clamp down on polluters, politicians are allowing them to prioritise profit over public health. People in the UK could now end up paying with their health for our government’s sell-out to the coal lobby on a vital issue like air quality,” said Lawrence Carter, a campaigner for Greenpeace.