French State Gets 6-Month Ultimatum to Clean Nation’s Air

The French state was scolded by judges for failing to properly tackle air pollution and given a six-month ultimatum to clean up or face millions of euros in fines.

The nation’s top administrative court ruled Friday that the government hasn’t carried out the necessary measures to reduce air pollution in eight zones, including Paris for nitrogen dioxide and fine particles. The decision comes after a previous ruling in 2017 ordering improvements.

The Conseil d’Etat said the French state would get a 10 million-euro penalty ($11.3 million) every six months if it fails to act. The judges said it’s the highest amount an administrative court has fined the state but it could even be increased at a later date.

France last year suffered an embarrassing defeat at the European Union’s top court over EU warnings that big cities exceeded pollution limits caused mainly by diesel-car engines. This came after a European Commission crackdown on dirty air in nations including Germany, Italy and the U.K.

The Conseil d’Etat said that for the eight zones, which also include Lyon and Toulouse in the south of France, the roadmap drawn up by the government fell short of expectations.

Concerning Paris’s Ile-de-France region, the Conseil d’Etat said the measures were credible but the 2025 horizon for implementing them too distant.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.