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Air pollution on trial (Cities for Clean Air : London 2012)


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(Errata: The first slide should read 'Presentation to Network for Clean Air -' rather than 'Clean Air Network'.)

This presentation by lawyer Alan Andrews from Client Earth in London, was given to the conference 'Cities for Clean Air : London 2012' on 14 July 2012 in London, UK. The event was hosted by Network for Clean Air (

Note: Alan Andrews presentation followed-on from another, by Dr Ian Mudway - a medical researcher at King's College London. You can also see and hear his presentation 'Why Air Pollution is Bad for Human Health' on Slideshare:

Client Earth are seeking the enforcement of EU directives on air quality in the UK. There is a news item about Alan's talk here:

Further information about Alan Andrews, Client Earth :

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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Air pollution on trial (Cities for Clean Air : London 2012)

  1. 1. Air pollution on trialPresentation to the Clean Air Network 14th July 2012
  2. 2. An introduction to ClientEarth Forests Offices in London, FisheriesWe are activist lawyers Air Qualitycommitted to securing Brussels and Warsaw. Biodiversity a healthy planet Toxic Chemicals Climate & Energy
  3. 3. London, 22 April 2011
  4. 4. Judicial Review “The legal procedure for challenging a decision,action or failure to act by a public body”
  5. 5. The Air Quality Directive• Sets limits on levels of air pollution• Deadlines: – 2005 (PM10) – 2010 (NO2)• Member states must monitor air quality• Must draw up “air quality plans”• Time extensions
  6. 6. The Queen (on the application of ClientEarth) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs V
  7. 7. Grounds for judicial review1. Failure to consult on the amendment to the PM10 plan for London2. Failure to produce plans which achieve compliance with NO2 limits by 2015
  8. 8. Defra concede defeat on PM10 consultation 2011: 12th October Defra concede• 12th October: Defra defeat on Ground 1 launch public consultation
  9. 9. Hourly limit breached within 1st 3 weeks of 2010Marylebone RoadLondon
  10. 10. NO2 over triplelegal limits Brixton Road London
  11. 11. 40 air qualityzones breach NO2 limits
  12. 12. 17air quality plans will notachieve compliance with NO2 limits until after 2015
  13. 13. 17 zones which will not achieve limits until after 2015• London • West Midlands• Manchester • Eastern England• Liverpool • South East England• Teeside • East Midlands• Hull • The Potteries• Southampton • Yorkshire and• Glasgow Humberside• Belfast • West Midlands• South Wales • North East England
  14. 14. Chronology9 June 2011 Defra publish NO2 plans for consultation22 June 2011 ClientEarth issue “letter before action”27 July 2011 ClientEarth file claim for judicial review16 September 2011 Court grants permission to proceedSeptember 2011 Defra send plans to the European Commission12 October 2011 Defra agree to hold PM10 consultation13 December 2011 High Court hearing31 May 2012 Court of Appeal hearing
  15. 15. Remedies1. Declaration that the UK is in breach of EU law2. Declaration that the 17 plans do not comply with EU law3. Court order requiring Defra to draw up new plans which will achieve limit values by 2015
  16. 16. 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”
  17. 17. ClientEarth’s case• “As short as possible” means no later than 2015• Compliance by 2015 is possible• The Mayor’s air quality strategy
  18. 18. Royal Courts of Justice, London
  19. 19. 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. 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. 21. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Westminster
  22. 22. The European Court of Justice, Luxembourg
  23. 23. “Working in partnership with other Member States,we will also use the European Commission review ofair quality legislation, expected in 2013, to seekamendments to the Air Quality Directive whichreduce the infraction risk faced by most MemberStates, especially in relation to nitrogen dioxideprovisions.”
  24. 24. Conclusion• We have a legal right to clean air• ClientEarth is fighting to uphold that right• The Government cannot be allowed to undermine it
  25. 25. Contact details: Alan Andrews Lawyer ClientEarth +(0) 207 749 5976www.clientearth.orgFollow us on