Victory in The Supreme Court today as the Government were unanimously ordered to produce and consult on new air quality plans by the end of this year. The UK has consistently failed to meet limits for nitrogen dioxide set by the EU.
The ruling was the culmination of a five year legal battle by ClientEarth.
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London said:
‘That the Government was unable to argue that it was and is under no obligation to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels is a judgement to be welcomed. Quite simply, this is a Government that is not really trying, and it is pathetic that rather than trying to get to grips with the problem, they would rather pursue costly court proceedings. In the meantime thousands more people will die prematurely from illness related to poor air quality. While official health advice is always welcome, it is not a long-term solution for the Government to advise at-risk groups to avoid going outside on particularly bad days of high pollution readings. Legislating to get the most polluting diesel vehicles away from the middle of London as soon as possible is clearly the action that should be taken. Well done to Client Earth after their 5 year legal fight to prove that we do indeed have a right to expect clean air.’
Here is the summary: https://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2012_0179_PressSummary.pdf