Are Londoners dying needlessly because the government is breaking the law on air pollution?
The Supreme Court has ruled today that the government is failing in its legal duty to protect people from the harmful effects of pollution.
Experts have claimed that poor air quality causes 4,000 early deaths among Londoners each year. This report is from Martin Stew.
The Mayor’s team are proposing to introduce an ultra-low emission zone in the city centre, which it says has the potential to deliver dramaticbenefits in air quality. Boris Johnson also hopes it'll spur on mass take-up of zero and low emission vehicles.
But ClientEarth, the organisation which brought today's case, says current policies need to be made more ambitious.
The Supreme Court has ruled the Government is breaking the law by not cutting air pollution levels in several cities including London. Levels of the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide currently breach EU limits in the capital and campaigners say the Government should be doing more.
But the Mayor's office says emissions are down:
Alan Andrews from ClientEarth gives his reaction to today's Supreme Court ruling that the Government is breaking it's legal obligations to protect us from air pollution.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insists the UK's air is safe after a landmark ruling that the Government is failing in it's legal duty to protect people from the harmful effects of pollution.
ClientEarth is an environmental lawyers organisation that brought the case to the Supreme Court. It comes after the Court of Appeal declined an application for judicial review of the Government's plans to improve air quality.
Today Lord Carnwath JSC backed ClientEarth's case, ruling the Government is breaching article 13 of the EU Air Quality Directive.
ClientEarth says this is a landmark decision and paves the way for the European Commission to take legal action against the UK. London is one of 16 cities and regions in the UK included in the report.
The Supreme Court confirmed that because the Government is in breach of the EU Air Quality Directive “the way is open to immediate enforcement action at national or European level”.
However, before deciding whether to take further action toenforce the law, it has referred a number of legal questions to the Court ofJustice of the European Union.
The Supreme Court has declared that the Government is failing in it's legal duty to protect people from the harmful effects of air pollution.
The case included concerns over the quality of London's air, which Government plans show will suffer from illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide until as late as 2020 or 2025.