EU Commission adopts zero pollution action plan

The European Commission on May 12 adopted the Zero Pollution action plan, which sets out an integrated vision for 2050 where pollution is reduced to levels that are no longer harmful to human health and natural ecosystems and the steps to get there.

The EU Action Plan: “Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil” – a key deliverable of the European Green Deal and the main topic of this year’s EU Green Week – ties together all relevant EU policies to tackle and prevent pollution.


The zero pollution vision for 2050 is for air, water and soil pollution to be reduced to levels no longer considered harmful to health and natural ecosystems that respect the boundaries with which our planet can cope, thereby creating a toxic-free environment.

This is translated into crucial 2030 targets to speed up reducing pollution at source. These targets include:

  • improving air quality to reduce the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution by 55%;
  • improving water quality by reducing waste, plastic litter at sea (by 50%) and microplastics released into the environment (by 30%);
  • improving soil quality by reducing nutrient losses and chemical pesticides’ use by 50%;
  • reducing by 25% the EU ecosystems where air pollution threatens biodiversity;
  • reducing the share of people chronically disturbed by transport noise by 30%, and 
  • significantly reducing waste generation and by 50% residual municipal waste.

The action plan aims to strengthen the EU green, digital and economic leadership whilst creating a healthier, socially fairer Europe and planet. It provides a compass to mainstream pollution prevention in all relevant EU policies, implements the applicable EU legislation, and identify possible gaps.


The European Green Deal announced headline actions on zero pollution.


Previous and upcoming zero pollution actions

  1. 16 December 2021First meeting of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform 
  2. 3 November 2021Deadline for the call for expression of interest See additional information
  3. 7 October 2021Launch of the call for expression of interest for the Zero Pollution Stakeholder PlatformSee the call
  4. 4 June 2021Launch of the Zero Pollution Stakeholder PlatformSee the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform
  5. 31 May – 4 June 2021EU Green Week 2021 on the theme of zero pollutionFind out more about EU Green Week 2021 
  6. 12 May 2021Commission adoption of zero pollution action plan
  7. 10 February 2021Stakeholder workshop on the zero pollution action planFind out more about the stakeholder workshop on the zero pollution action plan
  8. 11 November 2020Launch of zero pollution action plan public consultationSee the results of the public consultation.
  9. 14 October 2020Presentation of chemicals strategy
  10. 1 October 2020 Presentation of zero pollution action plan roadmap 
  11. 11 December 2019Presentation of the European Green Deal

Source: European Commission


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