Air pollution has hidden economic and health costs; causing some 3 million sick days and 350,000 premature deaths in Europe each year, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
A new technical study from the European NGO entitled ‘Road user charges for heavy goods vehicles (HGV)’, reveals that air pollution from HGVs alone has a huge economic impact, costing European countries some €43-46 billion per year.
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The Agency wants to see these costs reflected in road charges for HGVs, to encourage healthier transport methods and cleaner technologies, as is already recommended EU.
The 2011 Eurovignette Directive lays out how EU Member States could incorporate the health costs from air pollution into any charging structure for large roads and motorways. The revenue from such schemes should be invested in sustainable transport, the Directive states. However, adoption of road user charges depends on a decision by individual countries.
Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director, said: “European economies rely on transporting goods long distances. But there is also a hidden cost, paid in years of reduced health and lost life. This cost is especially high for those living close to Europe’s major transport routes. By incorporating these costs into the price of goods, we can encourage healthier transport methods and cleaner technologies.”
EEA recommends different levels of charging per country for HGVs to reflect the varied health effects of traffic pollution in different European countries. In some countries, the cost of air pollution from HGVs is up to 16 times higher than the least affected European countries
continue reading €46 billion a year: the air pollution cost of road haulage | TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk.