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Birmingham one of UK's worst cities for air pollution

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to cut the level of nitrogen dioxide in Britain's air.

Campaigners claim pollution causes 29,000 early deaths a year in the UK - more than from obesity and alcohol combined.

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports from Birmingham, one of the worst affected cities.

Government ordered to take action on air pollution limits

The Government has been ordered by the UK's highest court to take immediate action over its obligations under European law on air pollution limits.

A hazy view of Canary Wharf in London. Credit: PA Wire

Judges at the Supreme Court ruled that the "Government must prepare and consult on new air quality plans for submission to the European Commission ... no later than December 31 2015".

It comes after environmental campaigners ClientEarth launched a case against the government over its "ongoing breach" of European Union law on limits of nitrogen dioxide in the air.

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."

A Defra spokesperson said that “air quality has improved significantly in recent years".

They added: "As this judgement recognises, work is already underway on revised plans (since February 2014) to meet EU targets on NO2 as soon as possible.”

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