Comments : Is it a race against time to get the UK air quality in tip top condition?

Posted: 14/07/2014

According to information collated by the UK Government, the quality of our air in many big cities within the UK is highly unlikely to improve in order to meet EU standards by 2030.

Nitrogen dioxide is formed because of vehicles which can be related to a vast range of respiratory conditions however, Leeds, London and Birmingham are rumoured to be above the mark by 2030 hence why air pollution standards exist. The European Court of Justice has been observing evidence during a civil case which has been brought to light via air quality activists, Client Earth.

Up to now Client Earth has been very successful in the UK Supreme Court; they won a judgement that the Government had been breaching its legal duty on NO2. This particular European case arose because of UK judges who insisted on asking for a precise meaning of certain provisions of the EU air quality directive from their own European colleagues.

Scientific evidence that has recently been produced displays the effects of NO2 which are slightly similar to that of PM2.5. This has given Client Earth reason to argue against it however, the Government state that these are the cause of around 29,000 premature deaths in Britain during each single year.

Tax policies in the UK are believed to have been the source of encouragement behind the take up of diesel cars which are the principal source of the pollutant. In Britain during 2000, only 14% of all new cars that had been sold where diesel powered however, as 2010 approached that sum had gone up to 50%.

Up until recently, the Government had constantly stated that all areas of the UK are highly likely to be in compliance by 2025. Do you think your city has higher than recommended levels of air pollution?

Nicole Cran, Pali Ltd

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