ClientEarth is taking the government back to the High Court over disappointing plans to improve air pollution levels. The environmental law group feels the drafted plans, which were put together by the government last month, appear flawed and fail to target the staggering levels of air pollution emitted on UK roads.
Due to a surge in diesel powered vehicles, harmful emissions of nitrogen dioxide have increased more than ever before, an issue which has been linked to 40,000 deaths in the UK. ClientEarth feels the government’s proposed plans do not seem sufficient enough to tackle the already illegal levels of air pollution caused by diesel vehicles in the UK and are therefore contesting current plans.
This is not the first time ClientEarth have challenged the government over pollution prevention plans; in fact, this is the third time they have objected to ministers’ plans. Previous to the government’s air quality proposal in May, James Thornton, CEO of ClientEarth, said: “We’ll be analysing these plans and making sure they are up to scratch. We must see truly robust measures, including a national network of clean air zones to keep the dirtiest diesel vehicles away from pollution hotspots in our towns and cities.”
Mr Thornton has stuck to his word and after reviewing government plans, wants to take action He says: “We have been looking at the fine detail of the draft Air Quality Plans published by the government. We want to respond to the government’s consultation and want others to be able to as well.
“We have found some major flaws. The law requires the final plan to bring air pollution down to legal levels in the shortest time possible. These flaws seriously jeopardise that timetable. These are plans for more plans, what we need are plans for action.”