UK Supreme Court Urges E.U. to Fast-track NGO Case Against UK Govt on Air Quality

Posted: July 25, 2013 by tallbloke in government, Legal, Politics

environmental-god-cartoonFrom EUactiv:

Beijing Communist Party Secretary Guo Jinlong, the city administration’s highest ranking official, pledged this week to improve air quality, telling a meeting of municipal officials that controlling pollution is in the people’s interests, and important for China’s national image too.

But Janez Potočnik, European commissioner for environment is aware that Europe cannot expect China to seriously clamp down on harmful emissions unless it does the same.

“We are also not only talking about talking the talk but walking the walk. I think that is the most difficult part of all. Sometimes it is easy to agree on the political initiatives [and] I don’t want to blame anyone but I always say that if you want to be internationally credible, first you have to clean in front of your own house”, he said.

The Commission has begun infringement proceedings against several EU states for breaching its air quality directive.

On 17 July, the British Supreme Court called on the European Court of Justice to fast-track a case brought by the environmental NGO, ClientEarth, against the UK government for failing to meet air quality standards. The case could now be heard before the end of 2013.

“We know that the limits currently in Europe are far lower than recommended WHO standards in PM10,” Potočnik said. “Approximately 20% of Europeans are in areas which are overshooting the [safe] level which we have. But if you take WHO recommended [levels], more than 80% of Europeans are living in [unsafe] areas. So these are dramatic figures.”

Read the full article

[update: Site says “Published 19 July 2013, updated 22 July 2013” [/update]

  1. Brian H says:

    Full article link goes to an unformatted generic Euractiv front page. Useless.

  2. tchannon says:

    Links works fine Brian but the remote article has been updated, server might have kicked back during update.