City of Sofia loses court case over high levels of air pollution

Photo: al-grishin from Pixabay


November 15, 2021






November 15, 2021





The Sofia City Court ruled the city authorities are responsible for regular harmful levels of air pollution. According to the ruling, Bulgaria’s capital hasn’t updated its air quality management program or fulfilled its obligation to inform the public about air quality.

A group of citizens filed the lawsuit in partnership with Clean Air Group, formed by NGOs Za Zemiata, Save Sofia, Center for Independent Living, and the Type 2 Diabetes Association.

Sofia is one of the city with most polluted air in the world.

The local authority was instructed to introduce incentives for cleaner heating solutions

The court has ordered the Sofia Municipality to implement several measures. The local authority was instructed to introduce incentives for cleaner heating solutions and zones with low emissions of PM pollution and restrict transport on days of excessive pollution.

Za Zemiata said Sofia must conduct an assessment to answer why it is not developing public transportation, adding that the capital also needs to expand parking locations and expand and integrate the cycling network in the entire city.

The capital city’s administration has one year to implement the order.

The lawsuit concerned the non-intervention of city authorities on the air quality standards and the inadequate measures to reduce it over the period from 2015 to 2017.

8,000-9,000 people die annually in Bulgaria due to air pollution

The legal complaint launched four and a half years ago pointed to the World Health Organization’s finding from 2016 that the city was Europe’s most polluted capital in the terms of the presence of PM10 and PM2.5 in the air. According to the filed documents, about 8,000-9,000 people die annually in Bulgaria due to air pollution.

This is a great success for the citizens of Sofia and Bulgaria, as it demonstrates that citizens can work together to defend their right to clean air and a clean environment, Za Zemiata said.

Of note, this is just one of many legal complaints against Sofia’s authorities. In June six Bulgarian citizens have taken legal action against the authorities in Sofia over illegal and harmful levels of air pollution in the capital.

Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles


Rio Tinto releases draft environmental impact assessments for Jadar Project

13 June 2024 - Rio Tinto has said it has voluntarily released preliminary drafts of environmental impact assessment studies for its lithium mining project Jadar

prime minister serbia vucevic lithium rio tinto serbia

Prime Minister Vučević: Serbia should discuss all development projects, including lithium

12 June 2024 - Serbia's new government supports all development projects, including mining, which includes lithium, says Prime Minister Miloš Vučević

electric buses europe transport environment

Electric buses are taking over Europe – they outran diesel bus sales in 2023

07 June 2024 - Electric buses have reached 36% of new city bus sales in 2023 in the EU, overtaking diesel as the main type for the first time

World Oceans Day 2024 Awaken New Depths

World Oceans Day 2024: Awaken New Depths

07 June 2024 - Awaken New Depths is the slogan for this year's World Oceans Day, which has been celebrated every June 8 since 2008