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“We have a right to breathe clean air” – Stephen Knight welcomes EU court judgment over UK’s Government’s failure to tackle air pollution

November 19, 2014 11:49 AM

Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly environment spokesperson, commenting on today European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on ClientEarth's case against the UK government over its failure to tackle air pollution said:

"This is an incredibly welcome decision. No one can choose not to breathe the air around us so the right to breathe clean air is fundamental.

"For too many years the Mayor of London, the Coalition Government and the Brown and Blair Governments have consistently failed to address the issue of air pollution, despite it being the second biggest public health issue that we face. The staggering complacency that too many people have shown towards the issue of air pollution has been shameful.

"It is time that we finally met the EU legal standards on air pollution which as a country we signed up to many years ago. The time for excuses for not taking real action to tackle air pollution has long passed.

"A big switch towards zero emission electric buses and taxis, not diesel hybrids, is now vital in London. Bringing forward the start date of the Ultra Low Emission Zone and real moves to tackle air pollution in places such as Oxford Street must now happen."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Details of today's EU court judgment:

http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2014-11/cp140153en.pdf

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document_print.jsf?doclang=EN&text=&pageIndex=0&part=1&mode=req&docid=159801&occ=first&dir=&cid=311576