The Commission has sent letters of formal notice to Luxembourg, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Germany for failing to provide data for the year 2000 on emissions of greenhouse gases and the removal of carbon dioxide by sequestration. The Commission requires the information in order to ensure that progress is being made towards achieving the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol.

The Commission has also sent a formal request to Ireland for a report on carbon dioxide emissions from new passenger cars, which had been due to reach the Commission by 1 July last year.

“Reliable information on CO2 emissions and carbon sinks is essential if we are to effectively tackle climate change,” said Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström. “The Commission is determined that member states should fulfil their commitments when it comes to providing this information.”

Letters of formal notice have also been sent to the UK, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Germany for failing to notify the Commission about national regulations required by a European directive for assessing and managing air quality. The information should have reached the Commission by 19 July last year.

“Air pollution is a local issue as well as a global one, and the Commission is committed to making progress on improving the quality of the air that citizens breathe,” said Wallström. “That is why we are now reminding member states that they need to strengthen their national air pollution laws.”

Further reasoned opinions have also been sent to Germany, Italy, the UK, Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal for their failures to implement laws on limits of certain air pollutants. The directive requires limits on emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates and lead.

Finally, the Commission has also criticised Greece for a power station at Linoperamata in Crete, which is a source of airborne pollution. The authorities failed to adapt the plant using the best available and most cost effective technology, as is required under a directive aimed at combating air pollution from industrial plants.

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