UK government fails to tackle air pollution

The measures announced by the UK government to tackle air pollution still don’t comply with EU air quality legislation and will not meet nitrogen dioxide limits in time, the country’s High Court ruled on 2 November. This is the second time in 18 months that the UK government has lost in court on the issue, as green group Client Earth defeated the government on the same issue at the Supreme Court in April last year. Ministers were then ordered to draw up a new action plan, but now that new plan has also been found to be illegal.

Client Earth air quality lawyer Alan Andrews said: “We hope the new Government will finally get on with preparing a credible plan to resolve this issue once and for all. We need a national network of clean air zones to be in place by 2018 in cities across the UK, not just in a handful of cities. Future projections of compliance need to be based on what is really coming out of the exhausts of diesel cars when driving on the road, not just the results of discredited laboratory tests.”

Client Earth press release, 2 November 2016 (


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