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UK government's breach of EU air quality limits investigated by Lords Committee


The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee will hold a one-off evidence session on Wednesday 13 June to investigate why the UK Government is being taken to court for failing to comply with the EU air quality Directive.

The UK has persistently exceeded the limits for air nitrogen dioxide set out in the Directive and as a result, the European Commission announced it was referring the UK, and five other countries, to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Committee will question Client Earth and local authorities on the possible outcomes of the court case and the barriers to complying with the air quality limits.

The evidence session will begin at 10:30am in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords. Giving evidence will be:

  • Katherine Nield, lawyer at, ClientEarth

At 11.15am the Committee will question:

  • Polly Cook, Executive Programme Manager, Leeds City Council,
  • Mai Jarvis, Environmental Quality Team Manager, Oxford City Council
  • Marshall Poulton, Assistant Director (Transport), Newcastle City Council and Core Cities UK Chair

Areas the Committee are likely to cover include:

  • The extent to which the UK has implemented the Directive, and the barriers to full implementation
  • What the outcome of the court action might be
  • Whether Brexit could interrupt the court proceedings
  • How the UK Government will be held to account post-Brexit, in terms of meeting its air quality obligations.

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