Greens welcomes new legal action against UK over Dieselgate

8 December 2016

The European Commission has today launched infringement proceedings against the UK for its failure to clamp down on emissions cheating exposed by ‘dieselgate’. Britain stands accused of not turning over evidence of emissions cheating to Brussels. Iinfringement procedures could see the UK sent to EU courts for breaking European law.

The Dieselgate scandal exposed that car maker Volkswagen had cheated emissions test using computer software. The illegal deceives, used in 11 million cars worldwide, manipulated diesel engine emissions to comply with lab tests, while the vehicles emitted far higher levels of poisonous Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), on the road.

Commenting on the announcement, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, said:

"The inquiry committee set up to investigate Dieselgate was something the Greens were instrumental in establishing so I am delighted that after months of delays, and years of deception of consumers, we are at last seeing some action.

“This is not the first time the UK government faces legal action over its breathtakingly irresponsible record in tackling our air pollution crisis. It has lost two court cases in two years defending its inaction. With 300 deaths a year in Bristol alone attributable to air pollution, I welcome the pressure now being put on the UK by the EU Commission.

“Those pushing for a hard Brexit may wish to lower air quality standards still further and turn us once again into the dirty man of Europe, but while we are still a member of the EU we must abide by EU air pollution targets and rules. Green MEPs will do all we can to hold the UK government to account over our deadly air quality.”

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