On May 1st, the UK Supreme Court ruled that the British government has violated European Union air quality law by producing the highest level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in comparison with other European capitals. The court ruled that the British government breached the EU directive, which puts emission limits on NO2, a colorless, odorless gas produced by burning fuels, which can cause respiratory conditions.
The Supreme Court could force the UK government to take certain steps to improve air quality, however, it does not have the power to issue fines against the government. All eyes are currently on Owen Patterson, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to put into action a plan to protect people against carcinogenic fuels that release NO2.
According to an organization that advises the British government, 29,000 people die in the UK by respiration problems each year. These deaths are attributed to high levels of air pollution.
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