Citizens in European Union countries may be able to sue their governments for financial compensation if illegal levels of air pollution damage their health, an adviser to Europe’s top court said on Thursday.
The adviser’s opinion follows a string of rulings at the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the EU in recent years, with around 10 EU countries including France, Poland, Italy and Romania found guilty of illegal air pollution.
“An infringement of the limit values for the protection of air quality under EU law may give rise to entitlement to compensation from the State,” the court said in a statement.
Advocate General Juliane Kokott noted that it is often poorer communities that live and work in highly polluted areas and particularly need judicial protection.
Individuals claiming compensation would need to prove that the damage to their health had been directly caused by the air pollution, she said. A government may also avoid liability if it could prove the pollution limits would still have been breached if it had a sufficient air quality plan in place.
“This legal confirmation that there are routes to hold those in power to account is a major breakthrough in the fight for clean and healthy air,” said Irmina Kotiuk, lawyer at environmental law firm ClientEarth.
EU court opinions are non-binding, but the court typically agrees with them in the ruling that follows in the coming months.
The opinion concerns a case brought by a Paris resident seeking 21 million euros in compensation from the French government, on the grounds that air pollution damaged his health and the government failed to ensure compliance with EU limits.
A Versailles court hearing the Paris dispute asked the EU court to clarify whether individuals can claim such compensation.
Paris breached the EU’s legal limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution between 2010 and 2020.
In a bid to reduce premature deaths associated with dirty air, the EU will propose an upgrade of its pollution limits this year to better align them with stricter World Health Organization rules.EU citizens may sue countries for health-damaging dirty air, top court adviser says | Reuters
Pollution Masks since 1993 - The 'Original' and still the best - Made in the UK
THE AIR WE BREATHE
The Respro® Bulletin Board is designed to keep you up to date with current views and issues relating to Air Pollution and its health implications in our daily lives.
WATCH OUR ANIMATION
TOP POSTS AND PAGES
- Follow Respro® Bulletin Board on WordPress.com
LOCAL AIR QUALITY
Click the map to find out about current air quality levels where you live.
WHY WEAR A MASK?
Essential features required of a mask to work properly: Why wear a mask?
For information on the products we provide please visit our website respro.com Respro® will ship your order of any product, any quantity to anywhere on the planet free of charge.
KEY POINTS TO A MASK
Three important points to look out for in an air pollution mask:
Key Points to a Mask
TIME TO CHANGE YOUR FILTER?
THERE ARE FOUR RESPRO® FILTER TYPES
HOW TO CHANGE THE FILTER
BUY NEW FILTERS
RESPRO® ON INSTAGRAM
Air Pollution Air Quality Asthma Beijing Boris Johnson California Canada China Delhi Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) diesel exhaust fumes EU - European Union Europe forest fire France Germany HAZE Health Effects of Air Pollution India Indonesia Iran King's College London London London Mayor Malaysia Nitrogen Dioxide NO2 NOx Ozone O3 Paris PM - Particulate Matter PM2.5 PM10 Research Respro® Masks FAQ Respro® Products Scotland Singapore Smog Sulfur Dioxide SO2 Thailand UK USA vehicle emissions wildfires World Heath Organization (WHO)
- Air Quality
- Australia & Oceania
- Exercise & Air Pollution
- Health Effects of Air Pollution
- Help & FAQs
- Latin America
- Medical Studies
- Middle East
- Research on Air Pollution in the UK
- Respro® How To Videos
- Respro® Mask Reviews
- Respro® Masks
- Respro® Products
- South Korea
- USA & Canada
- World News