Air pollution causes 29,000 early deaths a year in the UK

The air we breathe has a direct impact on our health. But the government wants to push through damaging changes which remove the responsibility for local authorities to assess air pollution and declare where it is a problem.

If successful, it will be impossible to find out what the air is like in your local area.  A major change is that you will be unable to hold local authorities to account for unsafe air quality levels which is currently feasible [2]

The poorest will suffer most – poorer areas have dirtier air and are far more likely to feel the health impacts leaving poorer people, and particularly children, paying the price. [2]

The government launched a consultation over the summer holiday when many people are known to be away.

The consultation closes in 48 hours on the 13th September. It only takes a few minutes to respond. Please click here:

Air pollution causes 29,000 early deaths a year in the UK – more than obesity and alcohol combined. [3] It causes heart attacks, strokes, respiratory disease and children living near busy roads have been shown to grow up with underdeveloped lungs. It doesn’t really make much sense, but the government is trying to pretend that taking away duties to measure pollution would lead to more action on air pollution, and an increased focus on EU requirements. In reality the changes would mean that we would know less about the air we breathe and so less will be done to improve it.

Environmental lawyers took the Government to Court in order to push for the right thing. [4] ClientEarth, an environment law firm, think a big display of public opposition could make all the difference to how the government responds. [5]

Please click this link to send your response to the consultation which only takes 3 minutes:

The Government will only realise the importance of this issue to people in every day life and change their plans with a strong response to their consultation. 

Edited for our newsblog; original email researched and written by Becky, David N, Blanche and the rest of the 38 Degrees team
Email your consultation response:

[1] Air Pollution Monitoring Stations face closure as government looks to cut costs:
[2] Healthy Air: Children are more vunerable to the harmful effects of ambiant air pulltants:
[3] 60th anniversary of the Great Smog yet still 29,000 deaths a year due to air pollution in 2012:
[4] Supreme court ruling may force British cities to clean up and ban dirty cars:
[5] Find out more about ClientEarth here:

About actionforinvolvment

We're an independent think tank, founded in 2006 to bring people in our communities together with policymakers and stakeholders. We create space often in a workshop format to pool ideas, develop networks and tackle hot topics. Since 2009, we’ve focused on the sustainability agenda such as: climate change, energy, housing, technology, transport with interest in:education, health, welfare, regulation and enforcement. Our latest project is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Grant and our next event on 27th June 2013 includes George Monbiot with other high level environmental policy makers.
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