Natalie Bennett: We need ‘bold measures’ to tackle deadly air pollution

12 May 2016

WHO air quality guidelines: More must be done to stop toxic air blighting our cities

* Natalie Bennett: We need ‘bold measures’ to tackle deadly air pollution

* Keith Taylor MEP: The EU is taking action to stop the government ‘dragging its feet on air quality’

Responding to the announcement by the World Health Organisation that only 11 of 51 cities meet their guideline limit for dangerous particulates (1), Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, said:

“The latest in a long line of dire warnings from health experts on our air pollution crisis shames the government, that despite promises to be the ‘greenest government ever’ have done far too little to tackle deadly air pollution.

“That less than 22% of our cities are under the World Health Organisation guidelines on dangerous particulates is nothing short of a disgrace.

“More must be done to bring down the levels of PM2.5s, those particulates that penetrate deep into our respiratory systems and cause major health problems. The Green Party is calling for bold measures to reduce traffic levels and create safer streets for walking and cycling, as is the norm in other European cities.”

Keith Taylor MEP, who sits on the European Parliament's Environment and Health Committee, is keen to point out that, with a referendum just weeks away, it is EU laws that are allowing environmental lawyers Client Earth to hold the government to account over its woeful inaction on air pollution.

Taylor added:

"Just last month the government was slammed by a cross-party group of MPs for dragging its feet on air quality. Just a day later, it was announced that the Ministers would have to face the High Court for a second time after Client Earth won the right to sue the government over its failure to tackle deadly air pollution.

“That a town like Eastbourne, located at the edge of the beautiful South Downs national park, is the third worst in the UK for PM2.5s and seventh worst for the larger PM10 air pollutants, is a stark reminder of just how widespread this problem is.” 

1) http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/12/eastbourne-a-surprise-name-among-uks-most-polluted-towns-and-cities






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