A group of residents is suing the German government over toxic air pollution, saying that their right to breathe clean and healthy air is being violated. The residents say that the government is failing to protect their health. Although the air pollution levels in Germany are in line with the country’s regulations, they greatly exceed the World Health Organization limits.
The case has made this the first time that individuals have taken such action against the German government. This lawsuit follows the announcement earlier this year from the advocate general to the European Court of Justice, who said that citizens could take such action to win compensation.
The seven claimants say that their health is at risk and the government is failing to protect them. Some of them have asthma, and they all live in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf, four of the largest cities in the country. These cities have air pollution levels that exceed the World Health Organization limits.
Air pollution is an invisible killer and has been linked to so many diseases, including fatty liver disease, depression, and other mental health issues, and a study even found that nearly 6 million babies born prematurely in 2019 were likely linked to air pollution. Eating meat has been linked to a rise in air pollution, and factory farms are one of the biggest to blame for our dirty air. According to the WHO, an estimated 4.2 million people every year are killed from outdoor air pollution, and 99 percent of the global population breathes air that exceeds WHO guideline limits, with low and middle-income areas disproportionately affected. Check out these eco-artists that are using their art to call attention to the massive problem of air pollution and sign the petition to demand federal clean-up of disproportionately affected polluted areas in the United States.
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