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    Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

    This is a discussion on Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution within the Everyday Life forums, part of the Community channel category; Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution - BBC News The UK's highest court has ruled that the government ...

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      Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution - BBC News
      The UK's highest court has ruled that the government must take immediate action to cut air pollution.

      The ruling represents a significant victory for campaigners, who started legal action after the UK breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide in the air.

      NO2 is produced mainly by emissions from diesel vehicles and is linked to a range of respiratory illnesses.

      The Environment Department said work had already been started on revised plans to meet EU targets on NO2.

      In a unanimous ruling, a panel of five judges, headed by the court's president Lord Neuberger, ordered "that the Government must prepare and consult on new air quality plans for submission to the European Commission... no later than December 31 2015".

      The case had been brought by ClientEarth - a group of environmental lawyers - which notes that air pollution causes tens of thousands of premature deaths a year in the UK.

      Announcing the decision, Lord Carnwath said: "The new government, whatever its political complexion, should be left in no doubt as to the need for immediate action to address this issue."

      Analysis: Helen Briggs, environment correspondent

      The official number of early deaths from air pollution in the UK is put at 29,000 a year - more than obesity and alcohol combined. According to scientific experts, this may be an underestimate as it does not include all air pollutants, including NO2, which is produced mainly by emissions from diesel-powered vehicles.

      The UK has been breaching legal limits for nitrogen dioxide since 2010 in 16 different cities and regions. The judgment forces the next government to draw up new air quality plans - for submission to the EU - by the end of the year.

      This represents a considerable challenge - under existing plans, nitrogen dioxide limits set by the EU would not be met until 2030. Campaigners say the government should be looking to cities such as Paris, where there is free public transport in towns and cities on days of high air pollution.

      It may also have to consider measures such as low emission zones and congestion charging across the UK, working with local authorities and devolution partners.
      ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews said: "This ruling will benefit everyone's health but particularly children, older people and those with existing health conditions like asthma and heart and lung conditions.

      "The next Government, regardless of the political party or parties which take power, is now legally bound to take urgent action on this public health crisis."

      A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: "Air quality has improved significantly in recent years and as this judgement recognises, work is already underway on revised plans (since February 2014) to meet EU targets on NO2 as soon as possible.

      "It has always been the government's position to submit these plans before the end of this year. Meeting NO2 limits is a common challenge across Europe with 17 member states exceeding limits."

      ClientEarth lawyers recently told a hearing that enforcement by the court was the only "effective remedy" for the UK's "ongoing breach" of European Union law.

      The group says that under existing plans, some areas such as London, Birmingham and Leeds would not meet pollution limits until 2030. The original deadline for meeting the targets, set in the European Commission's Air Quality Directive, was 1 January 2010.

      In May 2013, the Supreme Court declared that the UK had breached its obligations under the Directive.

      The case was then heard in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which ruled that national courts can force governments to comply with EU rules.

      The CJEU empowered the UK courts to take any necessary measure to ensure compliance.

      The legal action then returned to the Supreme Court on 16 April this year.

      Defra said that average roadside concentrations of NO2 had fallen 15% since 2010. It added that both NO2 emissions and background concentrations had more than halved in the 20 years from 1992 to 2012.

      It said the UK was compliant with EU legislation for nearly all air pollutants, but admitted there had been a significant challenge meeting NO2 targets.

      The department added that the court's ruling had not supported ClientEarth's assertion that the government breached Article 22 of the Air Quality Directive by failing to apply for an extension on meeting NO2 limits.


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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      The case had been brought by ClientEarth - a group of environmental lawyers - which notes that air pollution causes tens of thousands of premature deaths a year in the UK.
      I wonder how many of them drive diesel guzzling 4x4 SUVs around London?

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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      Quote Originally Posted by Isitme View Post
      I wonder how many of them drive diesel guzzling 4x4 SUVs around London?
      Allegedly.

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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      I thought that they would all be driving Primeras so that they can avoid paying the Congestion Charge every time that they drive into central London from their country estate.

      Of course that is where they pay someone to drive around on their petrol driven lawn mowers.

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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      I would imagine they could afford petrol guzzling 4x4 SUV's.
      I know which I would choose if I could afford
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution-2014-range-rover-sport-lumma-design-looks-like-hulk_3.jpg  
      Last edited by dholdi; 29-04-15 at 10:13 PM.
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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie
      I thought that they would all be driving Primeras so that they can avoid paying the Congestion Charge every time that they drive into central London from their country estate.
      Nissan Primera / Toyota Prius, let's call the whole thing off.

      Quote Originally Posted by dholdi
      I know which I would choses if I could afford
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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      Hmmm, I purchase diesel cars because a previous Tory Government said they were cleaner and also at the time I first purchased one, diesel was much cheaper than petrol.

      Now they change their mind. I hope the Government will at least part fund the cost of a replacement if I am forced to get rid of it or it becomes too expensive to keep because of any eco taxes they will inflict on me.

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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      Quote Originally Posted by dog-man View Post
      Hmmm, I purchase diesel cars because a previous Tory Government said they were cleaner and also at the time I first purchased one, diesel was much cheaper than petrol.

      Now they change their mind. I hope the Government will at least part fund the cost of a replacement if I am forced to get rid of it or it becomes too expensive to keep because of any eco taxes they will inflict on me.
      You are right about the bit in red but I cannot see any of this lot helping us to get a less polluting vehicle. Diesel cars are about as clean as they are ever going to be. The next step can only be to ban diesel and I cannot see that happening.

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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      I strongly suspect that technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells etc have been viable for many years, maybe decades & that the enormous barrier to consumer realisation has nothing to do with neutral scientists in labs wearing white coats but more to do with idiots wearing suits & ties.

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      Re: Court orders UK to cut NO2 air pollution

      Quote Originally Posted by dholdi View Post
      I would imagine they could afford petrol guzzling 4x4 SUV's.
      I know which I would choose if I could afford
      I have never understood why they put LP tyres on off-road vehicles. The first patch of mud and they would spin all four tyres. It can only be because it looks cool.

      TomD


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