Yesterday ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews told the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry on UK air quality that the Government will face fresh legal action unless it improves its plans to clean up air pollution.
Mr Andrews told MPs ClientEarth would “not let the Government off the hook” if plans to bring air pollution within legal limits were not up to scratch.
Ahead of two crucial votes in Brussels next week on real world driving emissions tests and national pollution targets, Mr Andrews also warned that Environment Secretary Liz Truss must push for stricter EU legislation to help the UK meet legal limits for air pollution at home.
He says: “There’s a bit of doublespeak from Defra here, they are complaining they can’t meet limits on air pollution at home but they are doing nothing at EU level to push for tougher limits that would help them meet those limits.”
In 2010, ClientEarth took the UK government to court for failing to ensure air pollution did not exceed legal limits. In April of this year, ClientEarth won the case and the government was ordered by the UK Supreme Court to develop new plans to reduce air pollution as soon as possible.
The draft plans produced in September do not envisage legal levels of air pollution until 2025 in some areas.