MPs demand urgent action on air quality
This week, the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) – a group of MPs who hold the Government to account on environmental protection and sustainable development – published a damning report on air pollution in the UK. The report contains a number of recommendations which the EAC says need to implemented to stop “this invisible killer”.
The EAC is calling for the Government to come up with an ambitious strategy, setting out the responsibilities of different departments and local authorities. The EAC is also calling for a national framework of low emission zones, which the Healthy Air Campaign has long been calling for.
A number of Healthy Air Campaign member organisations are quoted in the report, which also argues for a change to taxes that encourage diesel purchases, public awareness of how to reduce exposure, and promotion of walking and cycling.
This call from MPs comes less than a month after the European Court ruled that the UK needs to act on its illegal air. We are also expecting a report from a government scientific advisory body to confirm that current levels of nitrogen dioxide (a pollutant for which diesel vehicles are responsible) could be ending tens of thousands of more lives prematurely than previously known, every year in the UK. The total deaths linked with air pollution are now thought to be “nearly as much as smoking“.
What happens next?
The Government will ultimately respond to the EAC. With the pressure from the European Court’s ruling, and a growing public outcry, we hope Ministers will act on these recommendations. You can help make this happen.
- Read the full EAC report here.
- Use this website to contact your MP, and tell them why we need action on air pollution.
- Read our policy calls to see what the Government should be doing.
- Help us get the word out on Twitter and Facebook.
- Sign up to our newsletter here.