The UK Green MEPs – Jean Lambert, Keith Taylor and Molly Scott Cato – today submitted a response to DEFRA’s proposed plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide air pollution.
Government action to tackle the UK’s chronic air pollution problem is extremely long overdue. In 2013 the World Health Organisation defined air pollutants as carcinogenic and ongoing research has revealed the extent to which air pollution is an unseen killer. 2015 research shows that NO2 alone causes no less than 23,500 UK deaths a year. A further 29,000 annual deaths are caused by another air pollutant, particulate matter. In London, around 9,500 people die from air pollution each year according to latest figures.
The UK continues to be in significant breach of EU legal limits on NO2 and is failing to meet its obligations under EU air quality law. Many of us have been calling for a much more concerted plan of action for years, and in its absence the UK Government is now having to deal with infraction proceedings by the European Commission and a ruling by the Supreme Court requiring it to demonstrate meaningful additional action.
Unfortunately the plans being proposed by DEFRA in this consultation continue to fall short of what is required. This submission highlights some of the main issues which the proposed plan fails to address and which require additional action.
Read the UK Green MEPs consultation submission here.