The Guardian - Governments are failing to tackle the crisis that causes 1,000 early deaths a day, says damning EU report.


Air pollution is now “the biggest environmental risk” to public health in Europe but governments are failing to adequately deal with the crisis, the EU Court of Auditors has found.

Europe’s air pollution limits are “much weaker” than WHO guidelines – and most EU countries do not comply with them anyway, according to the damning new report.

Toxic air kills an estimated 400,000 Europeans before their time each year – up to 40,000 of them in Britain. But the UK government has been in breach of EU air quality limits since 2010 and now faces multimillion pound fines at the European court.

“Why should anyone believe the Tories’ claims to lead a ‘Green Brexit’ when they can’t even meet basic pollution targets already set at the EU level?” he asked. “Time is running out to protect those at risk and this government has shown time and time again that it is not willing to do so.”

The UK was one of 11 countries last month accused by the European Environmental Bureau of using an “inventory adjustment” loophole to effectively raise the limit on its past nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Seb Dance MEP, Labour’s deputy leader in the European parliament, branded the Conservatives’ response to the air quality crisis “a disgrace”.