British government weak on air pollution

This video says about itself:

23 September 2014

In 2012, seven million people died worldwide because of air pollution. It is one of the most serious threats to public health, according to the World Health Organisation.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Plans to ban dirty diesels are ‘too little, too late’

Thursday 27th July 2017

CRITICISM of the government’s “carmageddon” plan poured in from all sides after its announcement yesterday.

Tory ministers fanfared their plan to end sales of new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040, in a bid to clean up Britain’s health- and climate-threatening filthy air. But politicians and green campaigners slammed it as too little, too late.

Air pollution causes an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain and is linked to health problems from childhood illnesses to heart disease and even dementia.

Labour’s shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said: “With nearly 40 million people living in areas with illegal levels of air pollution, action is needed now, not in 23 years’ time.”

She added that the government had only acted after being hauled through the courts — judges ordered the government to produce new plans to tackle nitrogen dioxide by the end of this month after the courts ruled previous proposals were insufficient to meet EU pollution limits.

Boss of ClientEarth — the environmental law firm that took the government to court to force action on air quality — James Thornton was scathing. “The 2040 diesel and petrol ban, while important, is a diversionary tactic and doesn’t deal with the public health emergency caused by illegally polluted air now,” he said.

Ministers also announced £225 million for councils to deal with pollution from diesel vehicles as part of £3 billion spending on air quality.

This could include “targeted” diesel scrappage schemes, changes to road layouts and “clean air zones” that charge the dirtiest vehicles.

Ms Hayman accused the government of “shunting the problem onto local authorities” and said the plans contained no detail about how the target will be achieved.

While motoring organisations gave the future ban on diesel and petrol a guarded welcome, government and industry’s failure to invest in newer and cleaner technology was apparent.

The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing. As governments decide what to do about air quality, studies connect an array of health problems to dirty air. By Laura Beil, 7:00am, September 19, 2017.

USA: EVEN BREATHING IS A RISK IN ONE OF ORLANDO’S POOREST NEIGHBORHOODS Take a look at the devastating effects of air pollution in this historically black Florida community. Here’s what air pollution does to your body and how to protect yourself from its dangers. And mayors of the world’s major cities speak out in a HuffPost series about the dangers of such air pollution, which kills millions a year. [HuffPost]

7 thoughts on “British government weak on air pollution

  1. Monday 31ST posted by Morning Star in Britain

    Tories are polluting your air

    And making you pay for the privilege

    by Felicity Collier

    THE government has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on legal bills as it tries to avoid tackling killer air pollution that is so toxic it is illegal.
    Legal fees of almost £400,000 have been recklessly racked up in a series of court cases over the last six years, environmental law firm ClientEarth reported yesterday.
    But taxpayers could foot an even higher bill once the most recent court costs are included — and farcical new government plans could prompt further legal action.
    ClientEarth first confronted the government in court in 2011 over its refusal to act to keep poisonous nitrogen dioxide levels within EU limits, winning cases in both the High Court and Supreme Court.
    It won another legal challenge in 2016 when judges demanded that the government publish new plans for improving air quality this year, as previous measures were shockingly poor.
    The government has now announced that it will ban new diesel and petrol cars and vans in Britain — but not until 2040.
    Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said a wait of more than two decades would leave it “too late,” branding the current situation a “public health emergency.” She said: “Countries like Norway, Germany, India are all moving much more quickly — they’re looking at 2025 or 2030.
    “In the meantime, people are dying right now from causes related to air pollution.”
    Air pollution causes an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain and is linked to childhood illnesses, heart disease and dementia.
    In April, ministers used the general election as an excuse to delay draft plans, which they were then forced to publish in May.
    Former Labour MP and environment expert Alan Simpson said the government was “studiously avoiding complying with the law,” calling the Tories’ actions “politically dishonest from the word go” and “perverse.”
    He pointed out that the 2040 deadline was not in Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s political lifetime, saying: “It’s a brilliant plan for anyone who can hold their breath for 23 years.”
    Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Oliver Hayes said: “It’s outrageous that the government seems to be choosing to chance their arm in the courtroom rather than meet their legal and moral obligations to protect the nation’s health.
    “The British people are paying the price for this inaction twice over, as taxpayers and through the cost to their health.”
    Local authorities have been stripped of the money to tackle air pollution levels, he added, cautioning that the number of deaths caused could be measured, but “the sheer number of people damaged in this time could not be.
    “The ones who will suffer are those who are not yet born. They will be adults by the time the plan comes into effect — with two decades of damage to their lungs.”
    Ms Lucas criticised Mr Gove’s measures and called for “massive investment” in public transport, and for towns and cities to be redesigned with a “proper network of clean air zones,” as well as making it easier for people to walk and cycle.
    ClientEarth chief executive James Thornton said: “It is a poor reflection on successive governments that they chose to spend taxpayers’ money to fight court cases instead of getting on with the job of cleaning up our illegal air pollution.
    “As well as the terrible health impacts on individuals, there has been a huge cost to the economy of allowing air pollution to carry on at illegal levels for several years.
    “We will continue to hold the government to account in order to protect people’s health.”


  2. Thursday 5th
    posted by Rob Wells in Britain

    THE Tories have completely failed to reduce deadly air pollution, with new official figures showing yesterday that air quality at the end of last year was so bad it breached the law in 37 out of 43 zones nationwide — the same as in 2015.

    The Tories have repeatedly been sued by law firm ClientEarth for their shockingly inadequate air pollution plans — and have been repeatedly ordered by judges to sort them out.

    Air pollution in places including Bristol, Teesside and Portsmouth has even increased since 2013. In a few areas, levels have dipped, but they remain well above the legal limit.

    People’s lives are shortened by air pollution, which causes the equivalent of an extra 40,000 deaths a year in this country.

    ClientEarth chief executive James Thornton called on ministers to “take responsibility and help people move to cleaner forms of transport.”

    However, the Tories have been doing precisely the opposite — bringing in a £15 billion road-building programme despite all the evidence showing that new roads mean more car journeys and worse pollution.

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan revealed yesterday that 95 per cent of the capital’s population had to breathe air containing illegal levels of the PM2.5 pollutant — which comes largely from car brake and tyre dust and is most responsible for damaging health.

    Mr Khan called this statistic a “damning indictment of the toxic air that all Londoners are forced to breathe every day.”

    Yet the mayor himself plans to build the Silvertown Tunnel, which will increase traffic and pollution, and has scuppered several schemes that would have cut car journeys.

    “The government should be investing in rail electrification, electric buses and networks of routes for walking and cycling,” said Green London Assembly member Caroline Russell.


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  4. Tuesday 31st October 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    MILLIONS of people living in dozens of British cities are inhaling air considered too dangerous to breathe, the World Health Organisation (WHO) found yesterday.

    Out of 51 cities and towns listed in the United Nations agency’s air-quality database, 44 failed its test for fine sooty particles linked to heart disease and premature death.

    Exposure to the particles, known as PM2.5s, should not exceed 10 micrograms per cubic metre of air, according to the WHO.

    However, it found that annual average levels are higher, sometimes by a significant degree, in cities including Glagow, London, Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester.

    The Royal College of Physicians’ Dr Toby Hillman, one of the authors of the report, said: “There isn’t a safe limit for the amount of pollution that’s been defined as yet and we know the effects of poor air quality run from cradle to grave; it’s a lifetime threat to human health.

    “This is a really direct and tangible impact on UK health from the drivers of climate change, and taking action on air quality should be a priority.”,-warns-WHO#.WfgpSnaDMdU


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