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Government responds to MPs on air pollution

Words: Huw Morris
London air pollution / iStock_48706088

The government has reaffirmed plans for clean air zones in response to MPs’s calls for more action on air pollution.

In April, the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee warned that air pollution had become a “public health emergency”, causing 40,000 to 50,000 deaths a year.

The MPs found “little evidence of a cohesive cross-government plan” for tackling the issue and called for stronger powers for councils to deter polluting vehicles with charges.

In its formal response, DEFRA said it would consult on a framework for clean air zones this year.

The High Court will consider a legal challenge by environmental lawyers ClientEarth next month against the government’s pollution action plan. CliientEarth won a Supreme Court action against the government on its failure to meet EU air quality limits last year.