Australia braces for twin cyclones, declares emergency in North Territory
Facebook Admits Mosque Shooting Video Was Viewed At Least 4000 Times
Venezuela's Interior Minister Says Detained Guaido Aide Part of Terrorist Cell
Female News Anchors In New Zealand Are Wearing Hijabs After Attack
EU takes France, Germany and others to court over air quality
17 May 2018, 07:44 | Devin Moran
As part of a last-ditch effort to bring six EU Member States into line for failing to meet mandated air quality standards, the European Commission on May 17 referred Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Hungary, and Romania to Europe's highest court after they failed to comply at an earlier stage.
Germany, France, Italy, Romania, and Hungary have also been referred to the court for breaching pollution levels.
The European Commissioner for the Environment, KarmenuVella, said the decision follows through on a threat to the Member States in question that they had received an ample number of final warnings over the last decade to improve the situation.
In January, the nine countries were found to regularly exceed emissions limits set to protect Europeans against particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), both pollutants.
Whilst the states had proposed additional measures following these warnings, Vella said the EU Commission had to conclude that "the additional measures proposed are not sufficient to comply with air quality standards as soon as possible".
It could see the government hit with a multimillion pound fine by the European Court of Justice.
"We will shortly build on our £3.5 billion plan to tackle roadside emissions with a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy setting out a wide range of actions to reduce pollution from all sources". But Vella also admitted that "legal action alone will not solve the problem".
Action against the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Spain has not been pursued as measures being put in place in each of the countries, "appear to be appropriate, if implemented" the Commission has claimed.
The decision fires the starting gun on a race to bring Britain back in line with air pollution limits before European Union judges in Luxembourg impose hefty fines in the form of a daily penalty or lump sum.
"The UK needs a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st Century and targeted action, like scrappage schemes and clean air zones which keep the dirtiest vehicles out of our most polluted towns and cities". But ministers refused to make them compulsory, instead making them a voluntary and last-resort option for local authorities.
The Commission also escalated a set of ongoing infringement cases against Germany, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg over their follow-up to the Dieselgate emissions scandal by seeking further clarification on their decision not to levy penalties against carmakers.
ElżbietaBieńkowska, industry commissioner said: "We will only succeed in fighting urban air pollution if the vehicle sector plays its part".
Rafael Nadal looks to seal last-eight spot at Madrid Open
Novak Djokovic eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets to reach the round of 16 of the 2018 Italian Open on Wednesday. The 16-time Grand Slam victor next takes on either Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov or Robin Haase.
Hull City: Allan McGregor confirms Rangers return
Gerrard said of McGregor: 'He is a vastly experienced goalkeeper who we feel can add to the options available to us now . I want to do my best, help other boys and try to get us back to where we belong.
Big jump in JSW Steel net profit
Net profit at Rs 2879 crore has grown at 158.4% over average profit after tax of the previous four quarters of Rs 1,111.40 crore. Its total expenses increased to ₹ 17,275 crore during the fourth quarter compared to ₹ 16,578 crore in the year-ago period.