MEPs urge UK to honour new EU deal to halve deaths from air pollution
A post-Brexit Britain could choose whether to adopt new pollution limits to cut emissions of five key pollutants, including NOx and PM2.5
Anna Menin and Arthur Neslen
Friday 1 July 2016 16.42 BST
A post-Brexit UK government should respect a new EU deal designed to halve the number of premature deaths from air pollution, MEPs have said.
The draft directive agreed on Thursday sets national limits for emissions from five pollutants by 2030: sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), ammonia (NH3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
Liberal MEP Catherine Bearder, said: “This agreement to cut deadly air pollution will save thousands of lives throughout Europe every year. The UK government must still commit to meeting these targets no matter what happens in the coming years. Brexit cannot be used as an excuse to water down environmental laws and become the dirty man of Europe again.”
The UK was a key player in drafting the law, arguing for less ambition on health improvements, the omission of methane from its remit and smaller cuts in ammonia emissions, despite contrary advice from a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) study.