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UK government ’10 years late’ on air quality targets


Report from the National Audit Office finds overall improvement in air quality but does not expect to meet EU targets until 2021

The government will be more than a decade late in meeting EU targets on air quality, a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed.

The cost of health impacts from air pollution, including fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, is estimated at £20bn. Nearly 30,000 deaths were thought to be caused in 2008 by fine particulate matter pollution, some of it caused by diesel cars, according to the report. About 13% of fine particulate matter pollution is thought to come from diesel engines. This is in spite of improving air quality overall.

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