Feb 17, 2017 12:52 AM EST
The European Commission has given a "Final Warning" to the UK for its alleged breach of air pollution limits. 16 areas including London, Glasgow, Birmingham and Leeds have been identified to regularly exceed the prescribed limits of air pollution.
According to BBC, other than the UK, countries like Germany, France, Spain and Italy have also been warned over their emission levels of nitrogen dioxide. The most common source of the air pollution is nitrogen dioxide emitted from factories and vehicles run by diesel engines. The European Commission has warned the abovementioned countries to take action within two months to change the situation, or else they will be taking the matter to the court of law.
The commission has given an estimate of nearly 40,000 people dying due to the air pollution in the EU each year. More than a million people have also been suffering from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases due to the air pollution as well, it said. The EU law states that when the air pollution limits are breached, the member states are supposed to implement air quality plans in order to make the levels stable again.
According to The Independent, environmental activists have said that it is absolutely shameful for the UK to face legal action due to the failure to curb air pollution. Friends of the Earth has demanded to introduce "clean air zones" to tackle air pollution after "Brexit" as they can't rely on the European rules and courts to make the UK take action against the alarming levels of air pollution.
A Government spokesperson said that more than 2 billion pounds have been spent to improve the UK air pollution situation since 2011. An estimated 290 million pounds have also been spent to support electric vehicles, low emission buses and taxis, and alternative fuels, he said. There has also been an introduction of a "cleaner air zones" program for the eradication of the air pollution problem.
With the departure of UK from the EU, the air pollution problem has become serious than ever, according to the Green Party. It is also of the opinion that a latest "Clean Air Act" and a strict ban on diesel is what is needed to eradicate the current UK air pollution, without any help from the EU.
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