Court rejects Milieudefensie air pollution case against the Dutch state


Environmental campaign group Milieudefensie has lost its case against the Dutch state for not doing enough to combat air pollution.

The organisation claimed that the state’s failure to act on air pollution not only has an impact on health but broke human rights rules.

In September the same court in The Hague ruled in a preliminary ruling in Milieudefensie’s favour.

The Hague court said in its ruling on Wednesday that the earlier judgement did not have an impact on the current case. The state is working towards complying with World Health Organisation standards and there is nothing which states those standards should be applied now, the court said.

Milieudefensie  claims tens of thousands of people die prematurely in the Netherlands every year because of air pollution. ‘The government knows this but still allows top speed limits of 130 kpm and old diesel-powered cars in city centres,’ the organisation said.

Environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven told news agency ANP that the court ruling shows that the state is on the right track when it comes to improving air quality.

The government is due to present an action plan to parliament at the end of next year.

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