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ClientEarth and the Sustainable City Awards

18 March 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Environmental law firm ClientEarth has been named ‘winner of winners’ in the prestigious National Sustainable City Awards backed by the City of London.

The legal practice – which has just issued a ‘final legal warning’ to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) over its strategy for tackling air pollution – won the Air Quality category sponsored by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) as well as receiving the overall accolade.

ClientEarth has challenged DEFRA over the air quality strategy it was instructed to produce by the Supreme Court, detailing how the government would bring pollution levels down by 2025 and warning that current plans are ‘defective’ and fail to take into account all the measures available for tackling pollution.

The awards were launched in 2001 and attract over 250 entries a year from small firms, charities, large financial institutions and technology providers. This year's ceremony was held at The Mansion House in the City of London and was organised by the London Sustainability Exchange. Event host Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf said the awards recognised those who were “leading by example” through their commitment to sustainable development in an urban setting.

“We are honoured to win these awards,” said James Thornton, CEO, ClientEarth. “At its heart, all of our work is designed to create more sustainable societies. We're setting global precedents on air quality issues and questions of sustainable investment and are delighted at this recognition of our efforts and achievements.”

ClientEarth argues that the law can be a powerful force for positive social change and that public interest law has been an underused tool in the European environmental movement.

“ClientEarth was a very fitting winner of the air quality category," said David Frise, Head of Sustainability, BESA and who was a member of the judging panel. “Many UK cities are in clear breach of EU air quality standards and have been so for several years. Our task, as building engineering professionals, is to provide technical IAQ solutions to back up the campaigning work of proactive firms like ClientEarth."

Picture: The ClientEarth team from left to right: Ellen Baker, Andrea Lee, Alan Andrews, Alice Garton and Natalie Smith with their air quality and winner of winners awards

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 18 March 2016


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