Thu 17 May, 2018

So far both the UK and Scottish Governments have not come up with a viable alternative to the ECJ that has the teeth to protect the environment and health in the face of government inaction. Mark Ruskell MSP

"This is as much Scotland’s failure as the UK’s."

Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP today (17 May) responded to the news that the European Commission is taking the British Government to court for breaching EU air quality rules.

The EU's environment commissioner says Britain has broken limits on levels of health-damaging nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and failed to provide "credible, effective and timely" plans to cut pollution.

Levels of NO2 - largely from car exhaust fumes - peaked as high as 102 microgrammes per cubic metre of air in 16 locations in the UK in 2016, including London, Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow, compared to an EU limit of 40 microgrammes.

Mark said:

“This is as much Scotland’s failure as the UK’s. There are dozens of towns and cities in Scotland where clean quality standards are being broken because of years of inaction; lives are being shortened as a result.

“It’s time for ambitious action including strong Low Emission Zones that exclude polluting vehicles and an end to planning decisions that worsen traffic congestion and air quality. This ruling underlines the importance of the European Court in holding governments to account when they fail to act in the interests of people and the environment. So far both the UK and Scottish Government’s have not come up with a viable alternative to the ECJ that has the teeth to protect the environment and health in the face of government inaction.”

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