News & Media

Govt failing to act on poor air quality

25 November 2019

Statement by Senator Kevin Humphreys
Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Labour spokesperson on Transport, Senator Kevin Humphreys, has criticised the Government for its record on tackling poor air quality.

Senator Humphreys said:

“We’re now reaping what the Government has sewn with it’s failure to act on dirty diesel cars.

“Air surveillance stations, administered by the EPA, have found that air levels around Dublin will breach the EU’s Nitrogen Dioxide limits by next year.

“When these breaches become formalised, we will be required to intervene and prepare action plans which roadmap how the air levels will be improved.

“France, Germany Hungary and Italy, among others, have all been referred to Europe’s highest court for their failure to reduce pollution.

“The UK has been fined hundreds of millions of pounds. I believe that the best course of action is to be proactive.

We must draw up plans with local authorities before we breach the EU’s limits next year.

“We also know the health risks of smoky coal and air pollution, with hospital admissions rising each time our air quality gets worse.

“The smoky coal ban in Dublin has significantly reduced premature deaths in the capital since it was first introduced in the 1990s.

"Despite efforts by my Labour Party colleague Alan Kelly as Environment Minister to legislate for a nationwide ban, it has still not come into effect.

“The Government needs to institute a national ban on smoky coal immediately and begin drawing up air quality plans with local authorities.

“Let’s tackle this climate issue before it becomes any more of a public health crisis.”