The EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, ruled yesterday (Wednesday 19 November, 2014) that the UK Government must face the British Supreme Court next year regarding its failure to reduce air pollution levels in the country.
This is the first ruling of its kind relating to the EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directive, which set limits on particular air pollutants.
Several areas of the UK have breached the Directive’s nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels since 2010 and, as things stand, the majority of regions will not meet the target set for 2015.
It is thought that the UK case could set a precedent for further legal battles across Europe.
According to the European Environmental Agency’s latest annual report, ‘Air Quality in Europe 2014’, also launched yesterday, the only countries to not go over the NO2 limits in the years 2001, 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2012 were Estonia and Ireland.
This year’s Healthy Lungs for Life campaign focuses on the importance of having air that is free from pollution, passive smoke, dangerous gases and other toxins that can affect the airways. Visit the Healthy Lungs for Life website to find events in your area and find out how you can support the campaign.
Learn about the factors that can cause lung disease and the ways to reduce your contact with them.
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