Press release: 16 March 2022

UK Government’s proposed air quality target would fail another generation of children – ClientEarth lawyers

The UK Government is today announcing new environmental targets to be included in the Environment Act, including a legally binding target to reduce levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) to 10 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) by 2040.

Exposure to particulate matter pollution can trigger heart attacks and strokes, increase the risk of asthma attacks resulting in hospitalization or worse, cause lung cancer, and stunt the lung-growth of children.

The World Health Organization recommends that concentrations of PM2.5 not exceed an annual mean concentration of 5µg/m3.

Katie Nield, lawyer at environmental law charity ClientEarth, said: “The target date that the UK Government is proposing is far from ‘world-leading’. It means that another generation of children will be exposed to toxic pollution far above what the world’s top scientists think is acceptable. Ministers need to seriously reconsider their proposal.”


About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a non-profit organisation that uses the law to create systemic change that protects the Earth for – and with – its inhabitants. We are tackling climate change, protecting nature and stopping pollution, with partners and citizens around the globe. We hold industry and governments to account, and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. From our offices in Europe, Asia and the USA we shape, implement and enforce the law, to build a future for our planet in which people and nature can thrive together.