High court ruling against government on air pollution
Brake, the road safety and sustainable transport charity, has welcomed a High Court ruling stating that the government is failing to tackle air pollution across Britain. The case was brought by the legal campaigning group, ClientEarth.
In a damning indictment of ministers’ inaction on air pollution, Mr Justice Garnham agreed that the environment secretary had failed to take measures that would bring the UK into compliance with the law “as soon as possible”, and said that ministers knew that over optimistic pollution modelling was being used.
In his ruling, the judge, who listened to two days of argument at the High Court last month, questioned the environment department’s five year modelling; saying it was “inconsistent” with taking measures to improve pollution “as soon as possible.”
Brake’s director of campaigns, Gary Rae, said: “We are facing a public health crisis with 40,000 deaths in the UK each year from outdoor air pollution. The government will now have to take action.”
ClientEarth chief executive, James Thornton, said: “I am pleased that the judge agrees with us that the government could and should be doing more to deal with air pollution and protecting people’s health. That’s why we went to court.”
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