Germany's courts uphold clean air rights

Germany’s courts uphold clean air rights

The courts in Munich have this week delivered the latest victory for clean air in Europe.

In its judgment on Wednesday, the Bavarian Administrative Court ordered the state to take more effective measures to bring air pollution within legal levels under EU law.

The two cases ruled on were brought by two German NGOs with the support of ClientEarth. They centre on the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which in built-up areas comes mostly from diesel vehicles.

The Bavarian authorities have been given a year to adopt strong measures that will bring levels of pollution, specifically NO2, down – or face a fine.

ClientEarth lawyer Alan Andrews said: “This is another victory for clean air in Europe. People have the right to breathe clean air and, where governments are failing to uphold that right, the courts are doing so.

“We will continue to work with colleagues in Europe and beyond to ensure the right to clean air.”

Lessons from the Bavarian case

ClientEarth’s case against the UK government for its failure to produce plans to bring air pollution in the UK within legal limits as soon as possible, despite a UK Supreme Court order to do so, will be heard in the High Court on 18 and 19 October.

Alan added: “A key part of the ruling in Munich was that the court considered 2025 to be too late to bring air pollution within legal levels. The UK government’s current predictions for this country show that London will still have illegal air pollution at that time.

“It also warns that drastic measures are necessary. This would include actions like banning diesel vehicles from town and city centres. The UK government’s current plans do not consider any such options – they should read the Bavarian Administrative Court’s decision carefully.”

The German NGOs involved in the Bavarian case were Deutsche Umwelhilfe and Verkehrsclub Deutschland.

Share this...
Share on Facebook! Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn! Email!

Pexels

Related articles

More from

  • neon roads highway night

    VW CEO cannot defend ‘clean’ diesels while saying the fuel is history

    The CEO of Volkswagen, Matthias Müller, has heralded a new era by saying that diesel belongs in the past and suggesting all tax breaks for the fuel be cut.

  • The challenge of challenging air quality programs in Poland – The Silesian air quality program and the issue of standing

    In February 2016, a resident of the town of Rybnik located in the region of Silesia, Poland, demanded that the Silesian Regional Assembly amend the air quality program it had adopted in 2014 for the region of Silesia.

  • london st pauls

    UK government will face court hearing over toxic pollution

    A judge has ordered a High Court hearing in ClientEarth’s latest case against the UK Government over illegal and harmful levels of air pollution in the country.

  • paris skyline

    Highest administrative court grants access to justice and upholds right to clean air in France

    On 11 July 2017, the Conseil d’État ordered the French government to produce plans to achieve air quality limit values in the shortest time possible.

  • Follow us

    You can help

    Your support helps us use the law to protect your environment.