Exposure to air pollution has serious consequences for people of all ages, but particularly the most vulnerable in society. Thanks to years of inaction, the chances are – if you live in England – you or someone you know have suffered the ill effects of poor air quality, including heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, asthma and cancer.
The solution? Cut off air pollution at the source within a decade.
Today, Environmental Defense Fund Europe (EDFE) is publishing new framework legislation to tackle the root causes of the air pollution crisis. Our Air Pollution (Monitoring and Control) Bill creates a new duty on Government to eliminate emissions from all controllable sources of pollution by 2030 – essentially making cities 100% clean by that date.
This ambitious but achievable goal is designed to focus and harness human ingenuity to solve the urban air quality problem once and for all – making cities safe, clean and attractive for all who live in, work in and visit them.
As we previously announced, the Bill introduces the following duties to:
- install a more comprehensive air quality monitoring network across the country;
- maintain a register of all pollutants and, importantly, the controllable activities that are causing them and available clean technologies that can replace them;
- obtain advice from an independent advisory body;
- set legally binding targets to eliminate controllable sources – starting where there is most exposure to harm;
- introduce policies to meet targets;
- publish monitoring data in publicly accessible ways, including warning of poor air episodes; and
- report to Parliament regularly on progress against key targets and indicators.
I will present the Bill today at an event in the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Geraint Davies MP, where we will explore how to win new clean air laws fit for the twenty-first century.