Pollution affects everybody – through the air we breathe, the water we drink or the land we grow our food on. It is the largest environmental cause of multiple mental and physical diseases, and of premature deaths, especially among children, people with certain medical conditions and the elderly. But pollution does not affect everybody equally. People who live in more deprived areas very often live close to contaminated sites or in areas where there is a very high flow of traffic. Pollution is also one of the main reasons for the loss of biodiversity. It reduces the ability of ecosystems to provide services such as carbon sequestration and decontamination.
But it can be prevented. The EU Action Plan toward a Zero Pollution Ambition is a key action of the European Green Deal scheduled for spring 2021. It will help to create a toxic-free environment across the EU by better monitoring and, reporting, and by preventing and remedying pollution from air, water, soil, and consumer products.
It will also support the post-COVID 19 recovery by helping to rebuild a more sustainable EU economy, creating job opportunities and reducing social inequalities. The European Green Week 2021 will be dedicated to the ‘zero pollution ambition’. It will also look at other relevant European Green Deal initiatives, such as the climate initiatives, the upcoming Chemicals Strategy, as well as initiatives in the fields of energy, industry, mobility, agriculture, fisheries, health and biodiversity.
EU Green Week 2021 will be an opportunity to engage with all stakeholders and interested citizens on how we can work together to make the ambition for a zero pollution and toxic-free environment a reality.