The European Commission is threatening the UK with a £300,000 lawsuit for failing to meet agreed air pollution limits on nitrogen dioxide.

The UK missed the deadline for curbing emissions of the gas, which is mostly caused by traffic fumes and can cause respiratory problems, in January 2010, and still hasn’t presented a “credible” plan on how it will deal with the issue. The Commission has said that without any credible plan, the UK is in breach of its obligations, and they have sent a formal letter informing the UK government informing them of this.

The UK now has two months to respond, and if it fails to present a more credible plan may face legal action and punitive damages of up to £300 million.

The UK Supreme Court recently found that air pollution limits were regularly exceeded Greater London, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Teesside, the Potteries, Hull, Southampton, Glasgow, the East, the South East, the East Midlands, Merseyside, Yorkshire & Humberside, the West Midlands, and the North East. They also noted that most of the zones will only meet the EU’s 2010 standards in 2020, and Greater London not until 2025.

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