The European Commission is cracking down on EU member states' lax air quality standards, referring the UK and six other countries to the EU Court of Justice over their failure to significantly improve air quality.
Three ‘pillars’ of air quality improvement have been pegged by the Commission: setting out air quality standards, targets for reducing emissions and emissions standards for pollution sources.
The UK, France and Germany are being referred to the Court of Justice for “failure to respect limit values for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and for failing to take appropriate measures to keep exceedance periods as short as possible”. Of the measurements cited in the referral, the UK’s recorded NOx concentrations of 102µg/m3 in London were the highest of the offending countries.
A summit was held in January to offer the countries a chance to find solutions to their air quality problems, but none offered "credible, effective and timely" solutions.