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Still Waters

[Merged] Air pollution: legal action against the UK

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The UK faces fines of up to £300m a year and embarrassing court appearances after the European commission launched legal proceedings against it for failing to reduce "excessive" levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution from traffic, despite 15 years of warnings and several extensions and postponements granted to the government.

http://www.theguardi...itrogen-dioxide

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Background:

The European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for failing to deal with air pollution.

The EU says that levels of nitrogen dioxide, mainly from diesel engines, are "excessive" in many British cities.The Commission says that this gas can lead to major respiratory illnesses and premature deaths.Britain was supposed to meet EU limits by 2010, but the government admits that London won't achieve this standard until 2025.

The UK's problem with dirty air stems from the EU's air pollution directive, which came into force in 2008.

Link (courtesy BBC): http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-26257703

I am a strong believer in improving our environment as much as possible, but a successful nation like the UK with its population density one of the highest in the EU, may not be able to meet some of these EU Directives in the time - scale given.

The Nation works hard at the implementation of these Directives, but to face (very) heavy fines strikes me as a backdoor for the EU to reclaim the annual rebate given to the UK.

Am I being too cynical? What do you think?

Edited by keithisco
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I think that you cannot have a common market without common rules and that you cannot have common rules without a common government.

To the theme at hand: About 600 persons per square mile live in Germany, just slightly more (620) in Britain, so why can Germany do it?

And the answer is simple: if you have an old car you cannot drive into city centers, if contamination levels are high you cannot drive high contaminating cars into densely populated areas, if the contamination levels are too high nobody gets to drive in city centers or densely populated areas except public transport, if you have a smoking chimney you get a few month to fix it or the fire is out and so on.

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i blame whoever signed up to this agreement and all the other rubbish. fancy getting fined by the EU. imagine the reaction from some of our greats Winston S. Churchill, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson to name just two. they'd despair. much as i do today.

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Ireland, Hungary, Portugal and Greece all have far higher emissions than the UK, Belgium has the same level as the UK (source: http://www.eea.europ...19.0140149032-3 )

Why are these nations not being taken to Court? Why single out the UK for "special treatment"?

Until there is a level playing field where "Justice" is meted out with full transparency and applied without favour, then the UK should simply "Thumb its nose" at the EU and their clamouring for more money but the national Coffers.

Selective application of directive penalties is absurd and disingenuous... <_<

Edited by keithisco
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I think that you cannot have a common market without common rules and that you cannot have common rules without a common government.

To the theme at hand: About 600 persons per square mile live in Germany, just slightly more (620) in Britain, so why can Germany do it?

And the answer is simple: if you have an old car you cannot drive into city centers, if contamination levels are high you cannot drive high contaminating cars into densely populated areas, if the contamination levels are too high nobody gets to drive in city centers or densely populated areas except public transport, if you have a smoking chimney you get a few month to fix it or the fire is out and so on.

A Common Market is all about Trade, nothing else. Common Rules with a Common Govt implies a fully federated Union, which the EU is NOT.

The latest source that I can find is that Population density in Germany is 585(Mi2 2012 figures) with the UK at 679 (Mi2 2012 Figures). Which is considerably different to your figures so slews the result in favour of your argument. SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density

Looking at the Population densities of their respective Capitals: Berlin; 3.4 million;Pop Density 3800 Km2. London 12 Million (urban figure); Pop Density: 5285 Km2. So it is clearly a simpler task to address Capital city pollution when 1 city is just a quarter of the size of the other Capital city.

Unfortunately, and I believe unfairly, the Directive is applied at a National level taking no account whatsover of the sheer scale of the cities that need to conform.

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From the article :-

"Other European countries have also failed to meet the air quality directive – that should have been adopted in 2008 – but the EU environment commissioner, Janez Potocnik, has singled Britain out"

Pretty much tells you everything you need to know really. Roll on the in-out referendum.

Edited by itsnotoutthere

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