Sweden may face EU court over emissions

The EU claims that Sweden has failed properly to regulate industrial waste. (iStock)
The EU claims that Sweden has failed properly to regulate industrial waste. (iStock)
The EU Commission may take Sweden to court over the country’s failure to reduce pollution levels in its cities.

Pollution levels in several Swedish cities exceed EU limits and Sweden has also failed to introduce a directive aimed at limiting industrial waste. Now, the EU Commission is launching a process which may involve bringing Sweden to court, if the country fails to take appropriate measures.

“Sweden is among several European countries that are experiencing problems with air pollution and every year 400,000 people in the EU die of diseases related to air pollution,” Joe Hennon, spokesperson for the European commissioner for the environment, Janez Potocnik, told Swedish Radio News.

Hennon said the EU Commission is expected to launch a legal process against Sweden in the spring, with the aim of pressuring the country to reduce pollution levels in its cities. At the same time, the EU Commission has already launched another legal process claiming that Sweden has not properly implemented an EU directive concerning industrial waste.

“This is very much a judicial matter. We are not saying that there is a direct increase in air pollution because of what Sweden has or has not done in regards to adjusting its national legislation. On the other hand, we are saying that all member states must implement what we have agreed on should be implemented,” said Hennon.

Unlike the EU Commission, the Swedish government believes that Sweden has, in fact, integrated the EU directive into Swedish law. Sweden now has two months to respond to the EU Commission’s letter, but right now there are no signs that the Swedish government will change its stance on the matter.

Chances are high that the EU Commission will drag Sweden to the EU court over the law on industrial waste.

Related Links:

Canada: Canada’s climate change stance ‘de-motivating’ say critics, The Canadian Press

Finland: FMI data show Finland warming up, Yle News

Russia: Oil companies push ahead with plans in Russia and Canada while sidelined in the U.S., Cryopolitics

Sweden: How climate change abroad could hit Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Global warming dials up our risks, UN report says, The Associated Press

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