​Green MEP comment on Supreme Court air pollution ruling

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ChimneyThe Supreme Court has ordered the Government to come up with new plans to ensure the UK meets air pollution targets.

The judgement was handed down this morning in ClientEarth’s case against the UK Government for its failure to meet legal limits for air pollution.

The court case was launched after Government plans to tackle air pollution showed that they will not meet nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits until after 2030 – 20 years after the original deadline.

Air pollution campaigners had hoped that the Supreme Court would oblige the Government to come up with new plans as soon as possible so this is a victory for them.

Experts have recently suggested that the death toll from air pollution, usually put at around 29,000 a year in the UK, could be substantially higher because of the effect of NO2, emitted during fossil fuel burning, which up until now has not been taken into account.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, said:

“Today’s judgement is a consequence of the Government ignoring health experts, campaigners and the EU to the detriment of people’s health. The Supreme Court ruling this morning couldn’t be clearer – there must now be real ambition and determination to solve the source of the problem

It’s not good enough to tell people that the air is bad and they should stay inside. Instead we should be looking at Paris good practice such as free public transport in towns and cities on days of high air pollution and prohibiting heavy polluting diesel vehicles from city centres”

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