Environmental campaigners ClientEarth today won a third case against the Westminster government over the UK’s illegal and harmful levels of air pollution.
The ruling means the Welsh Government has to come up with a plan this year to meet legal limits on air pollution.
The Welsh Government, conceded at a High Court hearing in January that its failure to produce a plan was unlawful.
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Simon Thomas said:
“Plaid Cymru welcomes this judgement, particularly the fact that the Labour Government in Wales has conceded the failure to produce a plan was unlawful. We believe air pollution should be seen as a public health issue and attempted to place the responsibility on the Welsh Government to publish, a national air pollution strategy, to issue guidance on alerting residents of air pollution and for the monitoring of air quality outside schools and on active travel routes. Unfortunately Labour Assembly Members voted down Plaid Cymru’s proposals in the Public Health (Wales) Act.”
“Most local air pollution is caused by emissions from road vehicles. Diesel vehicles are major contributors to nitrogen dioxide in urban areas. Plaid Cymru has shown its commitment to help people shift from dirty diesels to cleaner cars by securing £2m in the Welsh budget for electric vehicles infrastructure.”
The Counsel General confirmed earlier this month during questioning by Simon Thomas about the cost of court cases incurred by the Welsh Government that relate to air pollution was £20,486.30 in external legal costs since May 2016.
The Labour led administration must now come up with a plan to meet legal limits of air pollution in Wales as soon as possible.
A draft plan has to be drawn up by 30 April 2018 and a final plan by 31 July 2018.