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Industrial emissions directive, MEP Dennis Radtke said it is time for a new start in industrial policy


Strasbourg/Düsseldorf, 11 July 2023. The European Parliament has tightened the rules on industrial emissions, in a move that is expected to significantly reduce pollution and improve air quality for citizens.

The new rules, which were adopted on Tuesday, extend the scope of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) to cover mines and large battery factories for the first time. They also include stricter requirements for livestock farms, and introduce new measures to increase transparency and public participation.

Time for a new start

In a press release sent by CDU MEP Dennis Radtke said:

“Effective environmental protection and a strong European industry. Both are possible at the same time. I am pleased that our amendment has been adopted and I thank all colleagues who have launched this initiative together with me. For now, we have been able to stop the worst proposals of EU Vice-President Frans Timmermans. In the fight for hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs in industry, this was an important step. As the EPP, we are the last representatives of the interests of industrial workers”, with these words the North Rhine-Westphalian CDU MEP Dennis Radtke reacted to today’s vote in the EU Parliament on the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).

The social policy spokesman of the EPP group was in charge of drafting the now successful amendment, which will helps industry to redirect investments into ecological transformation without having to spend vast sums on existing installations that will be shut down in the near future anyway. In addition to Radtke, Czech Liberal MEP Ondřej Knotek, FDP MEP Andreas Glück and two EPP MEP colleagues Jens Gieseke and Peter Liese had also participated in the initiative. The IED has been controlling and reducing pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and methane from industrial plants for many years. The Commission had proposed a further tightening of the rules in April 2022. In addition to the inopportune timing of the proposal in a crisis with inflation, high-energy prices and uncertain supply chains, there was particular criticism that the proposed changes would have led to a prolongation and further bureaucratisation of planning procedures.

“All in all, pragmatic compromises were found that defuse the Commission proposal in all crucial places. Our amendment is of course a very central building block in this,” said CDU politician Radtke. “The USA has launched a gigantic industrial programme with the Inflation Reduction Act. Last year, 131 billion flowed out of German industry. Instead of reacting appropriately to this, some people here think that industry is a guinea pig on which the ideas of environmental NGOs can simply be tested in practice. It is irresponsible how we treat hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs.”

The IED is a key piece of legislation that sets out rules on preventing and controlling pollution from industrial installations. The new rules are expected to have a significant impact on the environment, reducing air pollution by up to 30% and water pollution by up to 20%. They are also expected to lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The new rules were welcomed by environmental groups, who said that they would help to protect public health and the environment. However, some businesses have expressed concerns that the rules will be too burdensome and could lead to job losses.

The next step is for the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to negotiate a final version of the legislation. Once this is agreed, the new rules will be implemented in all EU member states.

Key points of the new rules:

The IED is extended to cover mines and large battery factories for the first time.
Stricter requirements are introduced for livestock farms.

New measures are introduced to increase transparency and public participation.
The rules are expected to significantly reduce pollution and improve air quality for citizens.

Benefits of the new rules:

  • Reduced air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improved air quality for citizens.
  • Increased transparency and public participation.

Challenges of the new rules:

Potential for job losses in some businesses.
Increased compliance costs for businesses.

Overall, the new industrial emissions directive is a positive step towards reducing pollution and improving air quality for citizens. It is important to monitor the impact of the rules on businesses and ensure that they are not too burdensome.

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