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European Union issues final warning to Britain, France, Germany on air pollution

Heavy smog has covered much of Europe this winter prompting emergency measures in several big cities including London, Berlin, Paris and so on.

Feb 17, 2017 12:32 IST
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The European Union (EU) in the third week of February 2017 warned United Kingdom, France, Germany and two other countries to check menace of Air-Pollution in their cities. The warning was issued for failing to address continuous breaches of air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide.

Heavy smog has covered much of Europe this winter prompting emergency measures in several big cities including London, Berlin, Paris and so on.

The EU countries can be slapped with large financial penalties by the commission if they break the union's rules.

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Background

The European Parliament recently adopted draft reforms of Europe's carbon market after 2021, which is a key step in reaching the union’s climate change goals.

In July 2015, the European Commission published its reform plans for the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS), the world's largest.

The balanced reforms would help the bloc meet the Paris climate change targets, agreed at a landmark conference in December 2015.

The carbon trading system restricts the amount of carbon dioxide allowed to be emitted by large factories and other companies. The firms can trade in quotas of these emissions. The idea behind it is to provide a carrot to improve energy efficiency or switch to cleaner sources so that they keep within the ceiling.

However, the Members of the European Parliament insisted on a more ambitious scheme than the one proposed by the commission.

The parliament wants to cut 800 million emissions quotas in 2021, under an emergency mechanism that had been reserved for market stability.

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