The European Parliament approved laws to update and strengthen rules concerning harmful industrial emissions, targeting mainly the more than 50,000 industrial plants across Europe.
In the preceding debate, MEPs from most groups defended a compromise hammered out by the Environment Committee (but not one supported by the right of centre EPP-ED group), on minimum standards for the whole EU and the use of technology to limit emissions.
Speakers from the EPP-ED - the largest group in Parliament - criticized the additional red tape, and rules that would affect farms in particular. Other MEPs were critical of the fact that CO2 limits are not included in the legislation.
German Liberal Holger Krahmer, who drafted the report for Parliament, said, "Nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides are among the main problems. They could be reduced by 60-80% if the best technology was fully used. The technology is not science fiction, it is available, affordable and it works."