Today MEPs narrowly approved a review of the National Emissions Ceiling Directive (NECD) which sets targets for EU governments to cut premature deaths from air pollution by 50% in 2030.
The original level for reducing premature deaths set by the European Parliament was 52%. But after lengthy negotiations, EU governments, including the UK, forced the European Parliament to come down to 50%.
Scientific research estimates that poor air quality is responsible for approximately 400,000 early deaths in Europe every year.
Catherine Bearder MEP said:
“If I had become a doctor instead of a politician I would be prescribing a serious health warning to the UK government today.
“The UK government have approved a third runway at Heathrow airport even though they know that air pollution around the airport is already dangerously above legal levels of Nitrogen Dioxide.
“For this government air pollution is a trade-off where building a new runway is more important than actually protecting the public - I don’t think that’s acceptable at all and along with the Liberal Democrats I will continue to fight it.”