EU pollution warnings on way

The European Union is expected to agree today to send Greece warning letters over its inability to comply with the Kyoto Protocol’s emissions trading system and the failure of more than 300 major Greek industries to meet stricter air pollution targets. Sources said that the College of Commissioners is due to meet today to discuss the matter and is expected to agree that two letters should be sent warning Greece that it faces being brought before the European Court of Justice. The first warning concerns Greece’s failure to employ a trustworthy system for measuring carbon emissions. This led the United Nations to take the unprecedented step last week of expelling Greece from the emissions trading system and giving it two months to come up with a method that is reliable. The Public Works and Environment Ministry has played down the incident and claims that a mere technicality has led to the confusion over Greece’s readings. However, it was revealed yesterday that the government is also in line to receive a warning on Monday over the failure to effectively implement the EU’s Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) directive, which aims to «prevent or reduce pollution of the atmosphere, water and soil, as well as the quantities of waste arising from industrial and agricultural installations to ensure a high level of environmental protection.» Greece is one of eight countries that has failed to ensure that its big businesses update their anti-pollution systems and are then given new operating licenses based on checks on these facilities. The directive came into force last October but only about a quarter of the 356 Greek businesses that need to comply with it have actually been checked.

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