EU LEGAL CASE AGAINST UK OVER LONDON’S AIR QUALITY

220px-Jean_LambertThe European Commission has slammed the Government over its failure to meet minimum safety standards by preventing air pollution in London.

It has issued a ‘letter of formal notice’ – the first stage in legal proceedings that could see the UK face fines of up to £300m a year for London alone – for failing to meet EU standards on clean air.

Green Party MEP Jean Lambert, a founder supporter of the campaign group Clean Air in London, said she hoped the legal action will serve as a wake-up-call.

“I hope this formal letter now sees a serious response and is the start of a  process which will see London’s air cleaned up, people’s health improved – and a reduction in the number of Londoners dying prematurely each year due to air pollution: some 4000 at last count,” she said.

“Poor air quality really is a matter of life and death, and I am shocked that the Government and the Mayor of London have repeatedly failed to take any significant action to improve it and meet their obligations.

“The latest figures show that some of the poorest areas of the capital have the worst air quality – so this isn’t just a public health issue, it’s an equality issue.

“Air pollution is largely caused by diesel exhaust fumes, and we need the government, the Mayor of London and the London Borough councils to act to reduce them immediately.”

EU CLIMATE PROPOSALS MUST GO FURTHER

220px-Jean_LambertGreen MEP Jean Lambert has criticised proposals for new climate change targets published by the the European Commission has today , saying they must go further.

The European Commission has today published proposals setting out how the EU will tackle climate change between now and 2030.

Specifically, they must also include a target on improving energy efficiency, said Ms Lambert – and they should be higher.

The EU should offer real leadership on tackling climate change,” she said.

Climate Change is a truly global problem, and we need to tackle it fairly. It is the developed world which has caused the lion’s share of the emissions which are already causing devastating climate change – and poorer developing countries that are paying the heaviest price.

The EU needs to be much more ambitious. I welcome the fact that these proposals include targets on reducing CO2 emissions – and increasing the amount of our electricity we generate from renewable sources, but at 40% and 27% respectively these targets just aren’t high enough.

Greens believe we need to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 60% by 2030 – and to do that we’ll need to generate at least 45% of our electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and tidal. Even MEPs in general have been more ambitious than the Commission. Continue reading