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ClientEarth Communications

25th January 2018

Air pollution

Welsh Government admits in High Court: No plan on air pollution was “unlawful”

The Welsh Government this morning admitted in the High Court the lack of a plan to tackle illegal levels of air pollution in the country is unlawful and agreed to take action.

In a shock move in the opening moments of ClientEarth’s hearing against both the Welsh and UK Governments, Barrister for the Welsh Government, Jonathan Moffett QC, conceded and said ministers would work with ClientEarth to agree a legally-binding ‘consent order’.

Speaking outside the court, ClientEarth CEO James Thornton said: “Welsh ministers have admitted in court that their inaction on air pollution was unlawful. It’s incredibly disappointing that we had to drag them to court to get them to admit this and to commit to action to stop people in Wales having to breathe dirty air.

“People across Wales have been breathing illegal levels of air pollution for years and we hope the Welsh Government will waste no time now in committing to strong and decisive action to cleaning it up.”

The case against the UK Government continues.