LONDON, Nov. 14 (UPI) — A committee in Britain’s Parliament says the country’s ongoing delay in curbing air pollution is putting Britons’ health at risk.”
The Environmental Audit Committee said government ministers’ “apparent tactic” in dealing with European Union fines is to ask the European Commission for repeated extensions rather than curb pollution, which is estimated to cost $13.5 billion to $32 billion a year in poor health, the BBC reported.
The British government accepts that air pollution takes seven or eight months off British life expectancy, but for about 200,000 people, the shortfall is two years, the committee said.
However, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the government is working toward full compliance with EU standards.
“We are investing significant sums of money to facilitate further reductions in pollution around transport, including over $1.6 billion to promote the uptake of ultra low emission vehicle technologies and to support local transport authorities to deliver sustainable transport measures,” she told the BBC.
“We welcome the committee’s continued interest in this work, and we will fully consider their recommendations before providing a written response in due course.”
Meanwhile, environmental lawyers at ClientEarth said the government’s latest request to the commission is to delay having to meet standards on nitrogen dioxide until 2015.