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Coroner calls for government action on air pollution targets – Friends of the Earth reaction

news release

A coroner’s call for the government to address his concerns over existing weak air pollution targets, following the tragic death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah after a fatal asthma attack, has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth.

In a report seeking to address how future deaths linked to air pollution can be prevented, he raised several concerns over toxic levels of particulate matter in the air in many parts of the UK. These levels currently exceed World Health Organisation guidelines, and only strengthen Friends of the Earth’s calls for legally binding targets to be included in the upcoming Environment Bill.

Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Jenny Bates said:

“Our thoughts are once again with Ella’s mother and family.

“The government must take rapid steps to prevent similar tragedies happening in future. Too many lives are cut short every year because of polluted air.

“Tougher legally binding requirements to meet World Health Organisation guidelines for the most dangerous fine particle air pollution by 2030, are urgently required, and must be included in the Environment Bill.

“But targets alone are not enough – the main causes of air pollution must also be addressed. Ensuring that the vehicles on our road are cleaner, and that there are fewer of them, will not only drive down air pollution, it will cut climate emissions too.”


For more information and interview requests contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 / 07718 394786 (out of hours – please do not text this number) or by emailing

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