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Govt faces more legal action over unlawful air pollution

news release

Commenting on news today that ClientEarth has launched a new legal challenge against the UK government due to its repeated failure to tackle illegal air pollution, Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Jenny Bates said:

“It’s astonishing that ministers have done so little to tackle the UK’s killer air pollution crisis and are now facing court action again. Hopefully they will now be forced to come up with an effective plan to clean up their act, and our air.

“A bold action plan is needed to tackle our illegally filthy air in the shortest time possible – as ordered by the UK Supreme Court last year.

“It’s time to end this national health scandal that kills tens of thousands of people prematurely every year.”

Friends of the Earth is also calling on all London Mayoral candidates to publish a clear plan that will dramatically reduce deadly pollution in the capital in the next four years – starting by cleaning up emissions from London’s iconic red buses.


Notes to editors:

  1. ClientEarth announced today that it is taking the UK government back to court over its failure to clean up the UK’s polluted air.
  2. 10 green tests for the London mayoral candidates | Friends of the Earth blog.
  3. Key failures of the current government plans are:
    • Londoners are expected to suffer unlawfully dirty air till 2025 – five years longer than the rest of the UK;
    • the planned Clean Air Zones are only for the five worst polluted cities, but having these in all our cities and major towns would bring cleaner air sooner to those areas;
    • the Clean Air Zones – as well as London’s existing Low-Emission Zone and the Ultra one planned for Central London – are not strong enough;
    • no re-evaluation of airport expansion and major road-building plans which would add to the pollution problem;
  4. Friends of the Earth also criticised the government for:
    • failure to use the Budget to tax new diesel vehicles and to set up a scrappage scheme for older ones;
    • advocating a weakening of emissions standards at the EU level.


For press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust

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