Environmental organization sues Dutch state for cleaner air

Air pollution (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Zakysant)Air pollution (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Zakysant)

Environmental organization Milieudefensie - the Dutch Friends of the Earth - filed another lawsuit against the Dutch state to force the government to improve the air quality in the country. The organization already filed a lawsuit against the government last year, but so far nothing has come of it, NOS reports.

"Every year thousands of people die because of air pollution and many more become ill due to harmful emissions", Anne Knol of Milieudefensie said to the broadcaster. "There are still dozens of places in the Netherlands where the emission of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter is higher than the European standard.

The organization already filed a lawsuit against the Dutch state in August last year. In November the national attorney published a written defense, on which the court would set a trial date. No trial date has been set yet. 

The court in The Hague confirmed that no trial date has been set. "But this term is not unusual", a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. "The planners need time to find an appropriate date on which the judges are available and both parties agree."

Milieudefensie feels that this is taking way too long, which is why the organization decided to file another lawsuit, but this time a summary proceedings. The organization can pay for it themselves, according to NOS, but decided to try and raise the 9,500 euros needed for the case in a crowdfunding campaign. "In this way we also want to show that the case has support", a spokesperson said to the broadcaster. "We believe that this will be no problem. For the previous case we raised 25 thousand euros."