Europeans deserve an ambitious Euro 7 proposal from Parliament

A group of cities led by Paris petitioned for higher Euro 7 standards


Publication date

October 16, 2023

Municipalities need the support of the European Parliament to continue improving the lives of people who live and work in cities. The current proposal on Euro 7 standards is not strong enough and will lead to health problems and death for the young and old, for the sick and the weak. This is not being overly dramatic. This is a simple fact.

“There is not a more cost and time efficient way of saving lives than by significantly reducing the emissions, especially NOx emissions, from cars in our cities,” said Claire Roumet, Executive Director of Energy Cities. “The original Euro 7 proposal would have achieved the necessary reduction in NOx and other pollutants to significantly improve our residents’ lives in cities. That simple objective is now gone from the Parliament’s watered-down proposal.”

Cities from across Europe have signed a petition led by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo calling for Euro 7 standards that meet World Health Organization standards to help address the 70,000 lives lost every year from air pollution. Together, those cities represent tens of millions of Europeans and include Rome, Brussels, Zagreb and Krizevci (Croatia) as well as Bordeaux, Montpellier, Besançon and the metropolis of Lyon.

It’s important to be clear that the Euro 7 proposal, which was initially due to come into effect in 2025 but risks being delayed, is not about CO2 emissions. Rather it focuses on NOx emissions and other pollutant emissions that lead to a spectrum of health issues including childhood asthma, dementia, diminished lung capacity.

According to research done by the European Union’s Joint Research Centre there has been a dramatic reduction in NOx emissions in the real-world use of cars in Europe under current standards. This is to be applauded, clearly. But it is not an excuse to resist further ambition when our citizens still do not have access to the most basic of health needs – breathing clean air.