A France was ordered to pay a million dollar fine for failing to reduce air pollution to levels seen as acceptable.
The decision was announced on Wednesday, 4, applied by the court France’s Conseil d’Etat, the country’s own body that functions as the “Supreme Court” to judge cases of public administration.
The fine is the maximum amount possible for an administrative penalty, 10 million euros (about 61 million reais).
The Council of State also warned that it would re-fine the French government in a few months if the authorities did not act quickly.
The NGOs that initiated the action said that this is a “historic victory”. The fine will go to organizations that fight against air pollution, such as the NGO Friends of the Earth (“Friends of the Earth”).
The French court has become increasingly vigilant on environmental issues. In Wednesday’s decision, the judges said the measures decided by the government so far were insufficient.
Last year, the Council had already determined that the French government had not implemented a 2017 court order to curb air pollution levels. At the time, the agency gave the government six months to resolve the situation.
He also said that, if measures were not taken, the State would impose a fine of 10 million euros every six months, until the air quality improves, a threat that was in fact carried out today.
Air pollution levels will be reassessed in early 2022 and may generate a new, even higher fine.
Air pollution is estimated to cause 40,000 premature deaths in France each year.
According to this body, nitrogen dioxide pollution, produced by the burning of fossil fuels, mainly by automobiles, remains excessive in five urban areas: Paris, Lyon, Marseilles-Aix, Toulouse and Grenoble.
The Council also stated that in the capital Paris high levels of pollution by PM10 microparticles persist.
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