French government faces heavy fine

The French government will be fined €10 million every six months if it does not reduce air pollution in line with the law, the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, said on 10 July. Following complaints by environmental organisations, the council ordered the government in July 2017 to take measures to reduce nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter pollution in several regions to bring them in line with the EU Air Quality Directive.

“The council notes that the government has not taken the necessary steps to reduce air pollution in eight zones,” it said in a statement, adding that the fine would be the highest penalty it has ever issued. The fines paid by the state would be transferred to environmental organisations, the council said, adding that the fines could also be increased.

Source: Reuters, 10 July 2020.

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