MPs call for action on air pollution

8th December 2014
news
release

Responding to the Environmental Audit Committee report on air quality published today, Friends of the Earth Campaigner Jenny Bates said: “This damning report reinforces the ‘public health imperative’ to tackle filthy air which kills tens of thousands of people prematurely in the UK every year – and the measures recommended to help protect the most vulnerable.

“Children and elderly and those with some medical conditions are hit hardest by our illegal levels of air pollution.

“To help save lives, government departments must now all get behind this issue and – as the report recommmends – ensure that EU limits set to protect health are met much sooner than sometime after 2030 as the government currently plans.

“With an EU ruling that the UK has to keep the duration of illegal levels of air pollution ‘as short as possible’ there must be a moratorium on roadbuilding and airport expansion so that increased traffic and pollution would not delay compliance.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. See here for Environmental Audit Committee Air Quality Inquiry and Friends of the Earth’s evidence to it.

2. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruling on the Client Earth case said ‘it is for the competent national court…to take… any necessary measure, such as an order … so that the authority establishes the plan required by the directive to ensure… that the period during which the limit values are exceeded is as short as possible’: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/uk-courts-can-make-govt-comply-with-eu-air-pollution-rules-says-european. The Environmental Audit Committee reaction can be seen here.

3. Details on increased premature death estimates including NO2 effects.

4.The Chancellor announced a £15 billion roads programme in the Autumn Statement, details here. And in London the Mayor is planning new river crossings for vehicles. Details here and here.

For press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust