• UK Government in Supreme Court over illegal air pollution on Thursday 16 April 2015

Air Monitoring

UK Government in Supreme Court over illegal air pollution on Thursday 16 April 2015

Apr 17 2015

The Supreme Court heard ClientEarth’s case against the UK Government over its failure to meet legal limits for air pollution for the final time on Thursday (16 April 2015).

The culmination of a four-year battle in the UK and EU courts, the hearing followed last year’s ruling from the European Court of Justice which held that the UK must have a plan to achieve air quality standards in the ‘shortest time possible’. 

The Government’s current plans will not meet legal limits for the harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide until after 2030 – almost a quarter of a century after the original deadline, despite the fact that scientists estimate at least 29,000 people die early in the UK each year as a result of air pollution. 

ClientEarth will call on the Supreme Court to order the Government to produce a new plan which will deliver urgent cuts to the illegal levels of air pollution in towns and cities across the UK. This plan will need to target pollution from diesel vehicles: the main source of nitrogen dioxide pollution. 

Alan Andrews, ClientEarth lawyer, said: “We all have the right to breathe clean air and ClientEarth has spent the last four years fighting to uphold that right in Court.” 

“The Government’s current plans won’t achieve legal limits for decades. Every year that goes by, thousands more people will die or be made seriously ill from heart attacks, asthma attacks, strokes and cancer.”

“We need to get the most polluting diesel vehicles out of city centres as soon as possible for the sake of our health and our children’s health."

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