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Archive for February, 2018

UK Government loses third air pollution case as judge rules air pollution plans ‘unlawful’

Environmental lawyers ClientEarth today won a third case against the UK government over the country’s illegal and harmful levels of air pollution.

In a ruling handed down at the High Court in London this morning, Judge Mr Justice Garnham declared the government’s failure to require action from 45 local authorities with illegal levels of air pollution in their area unlawful.

He ordered ministers to require local authorities to investigate and identify measures to tackle illegal levels of pollution in 33 towns and cities as soon as possible – as 12 of the 45 are projected to have legal levels by the end of 2018.

This will be of great embarrassment to ministers, as it is the third time that they have lost an air pollution court battle against ClientEarth.

Speaking outside of the court, ClientEarth lawyer Anna Heslop said: “For the third time in the space of three years, the courts have declared that the government is failing in its obligation to clean up the air in our towns and cities.

“We are delighted that the court has today ordered the government to urgently take further action to fix the dangerous air pollution in our towns and cities.

“The problem was supposed to be cleaned up over eight years ago, and yet successive governments have failed to do enough.

“The people who live in areas of England and Wales covered by this judgment deserve to be able breathe clean air and the government must now do all it can to make that happen quickly.”

There was no ruling against the government for its decision to back-pedal on a previous commitment to legally ensure five cities implemented charging ‘Clean Air Zones’ – which charge the most polluting vehicles to enter the most polluted parts of a city.

However, Ministers issued Directions to those five cities in December 2017 requiring them to prepare a business case identifying measures to tackle pollution as soon as possible.

Lawyers for DEFRA told the court in January that they plan to issue further Directions to make sure those measures are implemented.

The Welsh government, which was also named as a defendant in the case, conceded at a High Court hearing in January that its failure to produce a plan was unlawful.

The Welsh government must now come up with a plan to meet legal limits of air pollution in Wales as soon as possible.

Today’s result means that Welsh Ministers will have to produce a draft plan by 30 April 2018 and a final plan by 31 July 2018.

[Source: ClientEarth]

Norway’s First All-Electric Ferry in Service

Geoff Dobson, 7 Feb 2018

Norway’s first all-electric ferry has reportedly cut emissions by 95% and costs by 80% compared to its fossil fuel counterparts.

The results are bringing in customers.

The ferry “Ampere” started in May 2015, aiming to reduce carbon dioxide and mono-nitrogen oxides as well as noise, electrek reports.

The partnership between ferry operator and shipping firm Norled AS, Fjellstrand Shipyard, Siemens AS, and Corvus Energy saw the latter two develop the electric powertrain and 1mWh battery system.

Another called “Elektra” also went into operation.

The ferry results were announced at the Nordic EV summit in Oslo on February 1-2, where Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) transport general manager Liz Yeaman of New Zealand was among the speakers.

A further 53 orders for electric ships have been received by shipbuilder Fjellstrand.

CleanTechnica reports Dutch company Port Liner will be introducing an autonomous electric barge for the European market from August.

Port Liner chief executive officer Ton van Meegen tells The Loadstar shipping industry trade journal that five autonomous electric barges will begin operating between the De Kempen intermodal terminal in the south of the Netherlands and Antwerp starting in August. They have been designed to fit beneath the many bridges there and are expected to remove 23,000 mostly diesel trucks from area roads.

Larger barges which can carry up to 280 containers are expected to enter service between Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Rotterdam later this year.

[Source: TransportTalk.co.nz]