The EU needs to act on air pollution
For the second time in less than a month, the UK is experiencing a dangerous smog event. People across the country are at risk. With both the UK and the EU moving so slowly towards any ambitious action on air pollution, we will continue suffering from these problems for years to come.
Why is this happening?
We all know the UK has huge problems with air pollution, particularly the type that’s caused by diesel vehicle emissions. In fact, ClientEarth are taking the Government to court on this issue next week.
But that’s only part of the problem here. What we are also seeing is pollution blowing over from the continent. In the right conditions, pollution can travel thousands of miles. We get 34% of our air pollution from outside of the UK – and we export 77% of what we emit. This is an international problem. Air pollution does not respect national borders, so that’s why we need cross border solutions.
At the EU level, our MEPs are currently deliberating on air quality legislation that would limit the most harmful emissions of each country. So it would prevent the worst pollutants being blown to the UK, and vice versa.
Next week, UK MEPs in the Environment Committee will be debating this legislation and, for the sake of our health, we need them to call for much more ambition.
These MEPs need to know how urgently we need action on air pollution.
If you’re on twitter, you can click to tweet MEPs about the need for EU action to protect our health.