UK receives final warning from commission on air pollution

The UK’s continued failure to tackle nitrogen dioxide could result in court action, the European Commission warned today.

The commission has issued the UK government with a ‘reasoned opinion’, or formal request to comply with the law. It states that, since 2010, the UK has persistently been in breach of maximum levels for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) set by the Ambient Air Quality Directive in 16 areas, including London, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow.

Similar requests have been sent to France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Exposure to high levels of NO2 increases the likelihood of people developing health problems, including coughing, bronchitis and lung infection, especially children with asthma and older people with heart disease. 

Governments of the five countries have two months to act, after which the commission could refer the case to the European Court of Justice. 

The UK government ...

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