Climate Action

UK government facing legal action over pollution

The UK government is facing renewed legal action for breaching EU limits of air pollution

  • 01 March 2016
  • William Brittlebank

The UK government is facing renewed legal action for breaching EU limits of air pollution.

The Supreme Court ruled in April that a plan was needed immediately after EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were breached.

The government has said that emissions reduction plans have been enacted but the environmental law firm ClientEarth has argued that the action has not been sufficient to protect health.

Reprts suggest that the court will back ClientEarth’s claim again unless the government makes the relevant amendments to its environmental policies.

An estimated 40,000 people die prematurely every year across the UK due to bad air quality.

The government has introduced anti-pollution zones in Leeds, Southampton, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby and London and has committed £2 billion since 2011 to reducing emissions from buses, waste collection vehicles and fire engines.

The government does not envisage the air will meet EU health standards in London until 2025 due to delays in removing old diesel vehicles from the roads.