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Measures to tackle air pollution in Spain

The Spanish government has released draft legislation which should be in force by next year and aims at reducing Spanish air pollution as part of the global fight against climatic change. The Air Pollution Plan (Plan de Emisiones Contaminantes) represents the first serious attempt by a Spanish government to tackle the problem of air pollution in accordance with EU guidelines introduced to comply with the Kioto Agreement.

According the the draft legislation released yesterday, all industrial and energy plants will be assigned a fixed limit to the amount of polluting gases they are allowed to release into the atmosphere. If a company expects to exceed its authorised limit, it will have to either find ways of reducing the amount of gases, or it will have to apply to the future European institution in charge of making sure that the European Union complies with the limits laid down in the Kioto Agreement.

Spanish companies who fail to stick to the limits set down by the Plan will have to pay fines of up to 2 million euros and will risk forced closure for up to two years.

The Plan aims to stabilise emissions of carbon dioxide over the next 4 years, and then to start reducing emissions, so that by 2012 Spain can join other countries who have managed to comply with Kioto guidelines. At the moment, Spain is 40% over the CO2 limits and by 2010 it aims to reduce this to 15%.

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