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Taking the Government to Task on Meeting Standards Karla Hill Doncaster, 30 May 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Taking the Government to Task on Meeting Standards Karla Hill Doncaster, 30 May 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Taking the Government to Task on Meeting Standards Karla Hill Doncaster, 30 May 2012

2 An introduction to ClientEarth Activist lawyers committed to securing a healthy planet London Brussels Warsaw Forests Fisheries Air Quality Biodiversity Toxic Chemicals Climate & Energy

3 A right to a healthy environment & clean air = Legally binding air quality standards + Enforcement Image © Dryden Goodwin, Breathe

4 London, 24 th May 2012

5 Royal Courts of Justice, London

6 29,000 premature deaths

7 Enforcement mechanism: An application to the High Court for Judicial Review “ The legal procedure for challenging a decision, action or failure to act by a public body”

8 The Air Quality Directive Sets limits on levels of air pollution Deadlines: – 2005 (PM 10 ) – 2010 (NO 2 ) Member states must monitor air quality Must draw up “air quality plans” Time extensions UK: Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010

9 The Queen (on the application of ClientEarth) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs V

10 Hourly limit breached within 1st 3 weeks of 2010 Marylebone Road London

11 NO 2 over triple legal limits Brixton Road London

12 40 /43 air quality zones breach NO 2 limits

13 17 air quality plans will not achieve compliance with NO 2 limits until after 2015

14 17 zones which will not achieve limits until after 2015 London Manchester Liverpool Teeside Hull Southampton Glasgow Belfast South Wales West Yorkshire Eastern England South East England East Midlands The Potteries Yorkshire and Humberside West Midlands North East England

15 Defra’s plans List of over 90 national measures Almost no new measures Old, irrelevant or unhelpful policies Feasibility study on a national framework of low emission zones No clear timetable Red tape challenge

16 ClientEarth’s case Government in breach of EU law for failing to ensure compliance with NO 2 limits by 2010 Plans unlawful as do not demonstrate compliance with NO 2 limits by 2015 Article 22 – by 2015 at the latest Article 23 – “shortest time possible”

17 Defra’s case Time extensions only for those zones where plans project compliance by 2015 Reliance on Article 23: “...shall set out appropriate measures so that the exceedance period can be kept as short as possible”

18 The High Court Government in breach of “primary obligation” Time extension not mandatory No obligation to provide a remedy For the European Commission to enforce the AQD Mr Justice Mitting


20 The appeal “As short as possible” means no later than 2015 National courts must enforce EU law Effective remedies Court order requiring Government to produce plans which meet limits by 2015 Lord Justice Laws

21 A new UK Air Quality Strategy Defra, DfT, DECC, DCLG, DOH Clear allocations of responsibility Public participation Optimise PM, BC and CO 2 co-benefits Clear timetable for implementation Review in 2015 Target road traffic

22 Year of Clean Air: The 2013 review No weakening of NO 2 limits No more time extensions Focus on PM 2.5 Target source emissions Focus on Euro 6/VI

23 Conclusion ClientEarth has gone to Court to uphold a legal right to clean air An ambitious plan can achieve legal limits with major health benefits

24 Contact details: Karla Hill ClientEarth +(0) 207 749 5970 Follow us on Twitter

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