Press release
EU takes legal action over UK air quality

Friends of the Earth Press Release

Embargo: For immediate release: Thursday 20 February 2014

Contact: Neil Verlander, press office, 020 7566 1649/ 07712 843 209

EU LAUNCHES LEGAL ACTION OVER UK AIR QUALITY – FRIENDS OF THE EARTH REACTION

Responding to news today (Thursday 20 February 2014) that the European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for failing to deal with nitrogen dioxide air pollution, Friends of the Earth Campaigner Jenny Bates said:

“This much-needed legal action will hopefully force the Government to take urgent steps to end a national scandal that causes tens of thousands of people to die prematurely each year because of air pollution.

“The Government, Mayor of London and local authorities must now take tough and rapid measures, such as reducing traffic levels, rather than increasing road-capacity.

“This would cut air pollution and congestion, and make our towns and cities cleaner, healthier places for people to live and work.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1.  EU announcement, 20th February 2014.
2.  Summary of the compliance on NO2 across all of the UK’s 43 air pollution zones (Clean Air in London).
3.  The World Health Organisation has declared outdoor Air Pollution carcinogenic to humans - stating that there is 'sufficient evidence' that there is a 'causal relationship' between air pollution and lung cancer.
4. 29,000 premature deaths are attributable to long-term exposure to particulate air pollution a year in the UK.  & COMEAP report showing 29,000 premature deaths are attributable to long-term exposure to particulate air pollution a year in the UK.
5. Friends of the Earth’s briefing on Air Pollution (May 2013).

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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust