Environmental campaign group Milieudefensie is taking the Dutch state to court to force it to take action on air quality. The organisation says the air quality in many places breaks European guidelines and immediate action needs to be taken to improve it.
Milieudefensie claims that thousands of people die prematurely because of the high concentration of fine particulates in the atmosphere, including nitrogen dioxide.
Campaign leader Anne Knol points to Britain where she says the courts have intervened to make sure air quality meets European requirementsa .
Milieudefensie is proposing a string of measures to cut car borne pollution including speeding up the replacement of old cars and stimulating the use of electric cars via tax breaks as well as tackling emissions from agriculture.
Last June, judges in The Hague ruled the Dutch government must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 compared with 1990.
The landmark legal case was brought by 886 Dutch citizens united in the Urgenda foundation which claims the government is not doing enough to avoid climate change. The court ruled the government has duty of care and cannot hide behind claims that the Netherlands is a small part of a worldwide process.
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