EU petition No 0362/2018 on the possible adoption of European legislation against light pollution

EU petition No 0362/2018 on the possible adoption of European legislation against light pollution

Please read the petition by Sibylle Schroer from Stars For All. She suggests to limit light emissions to sensible levels and conduct more research on light levels used in outdoor settings. Here is the full petition, if you like to sign, here is the link to the EU petition. Here is a short article about the initiative that worked on the petition.

The full petition has been provided by Sibylle Schroer:

Petition No 0362/2018 by Sibylle Schroer (German) on the possible adoption of European legislation against light pollution

The brightening of nightscapes is increasing globally by 2-6 % per annum with unforeseen consequences for ecosystems and human well-being. The EU directives and norms, like the ecodesign directive and the EN 13201 recommend to using most energy efficient light devices and providing a minimum brightness for certain classes of infrastructure. The sole focus on the factors energy efficiency and visual effectiveness will result in an increasing emission of blue light at night and even increase the rate of brightening of nightscapes. The lack of regulations for outdoor light installations can cause additional rebound effects, when efficient lighting becomes available at low cost. Today EU regulations on outdoor lighting lack scientific evidence for minimum and maximum light levels. Furthermore, thresholds for non-intended light emission into habitat of flora and fauna and into living areas are often complicated to be enforced. Manifold studies indicate that the ongoing waste and misuse of light, the so called light pollution,

  • affects human well-being and health
  • threatens light sensitive species and their habitat, causing disruptions in ecosystems and loss of biodiversity
  • destroys nighttime landscapes and the cultural heritage of the starry night scape
  • is making the observation of the universe impossible. Therefore, the EU standards on outdoor lighting stand in contradiction to the European legislation for the protection of the environment, the EU Environmental Liability Directive (Directive 2004/35/EC) and in particular the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC).

 

We advocate:

  • To regulate the maximal intensity for outdoor lighting and to support research in defining
    scientifically justification for minimal illumination levels in public lighting standards (e.g. EN13201)
  • To limit the light emission directed in the horizontal and above and in shallow downward angles
  • To limit the exposure of bright light and particularly light with short wavelength, such as blue and UV-light.

 

Examples of comparable national / regional legislations within the EU:

 

Why do we need a European regulation of outdoor lighting?

  • To protect citizens from lighting trespasses into their homes, which might have an impact on the circadian rhythm and consequently can increase the risk for health issues like insomnia, obesity and cancer.
  • To reduce glare and thus improving safety in European infrastructures.
  • To protect Europe’s natural capital and rich biodiversity.
  • To support efforts to reach climate protection goals in reducing energy consumption and associated pollution, carbon dioxide emissions and land-use changes associated with the production of electricity.
  • To protect astronomical viewing sites, for both professional and amateur astronomers.
  • To promote the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Future Generations (UNESCO): “Future generations have the right to inherit an unharmed and unpolluted earth, and this includes the right to a pure sky.” (1994, Cousteau-UNESCO group).

 

More information: Stars For All

 

Title photo: pixel2013 via Pixabay

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