silhouette industrial chimney smoke

A good week for clean air: tough new pollution standards mean plants must conform or close

EU countries have voted to secure tough new industrial pollution rules that could save thousands of lives each year. These standards have not been updated since 2006 and environment organisations have campaigned strongly to ensure success this time.

After the UK lobbied to weaken the ‘LCP BREF’, as it’s known, environmental lawyers ClientEarth led a group of NGOs to write to Secretary of State for the Environment Andrea Leadsom to ensure she prioritised human health over industry.

Reacting to the result today, ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “It’s a victory for cleaner air in the UK this week. We could not be more glad the UK has stepped up to support these stronger pollution limits, despite previously lobbying against them.

“These updated standards are late in coming but they are absolutely essential. As we enter the clean energy era, our remaining industrial plants must operate without placing human health in jeopardy. These standards go some way to achieving that.”

What do the new standards mean for the coal industry?

“Operators of non-compliant plants are now at a crossroads – will they invest to bring them up to standard? Or will they close? Either way, it’s clear that human health is the priority – exactly the result we fought for.

“Now, countries must commit to rigorous enforcement to make sure polluters don’t fly under the radar. In the UK, for example, only one of our coal power plants is prepared to meet the new standards. Will this bring the end of coal forward?”

To widespread outrage, Germany voted against the new standards.

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


Related articles

More from or

  • 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.