Demand for urgent action on UK air pollution

By agency reporter
October 14, 2019

 Boris Johnson has confirmed the new Environment Bill, will be announced in the Queen’s speech on 14 October 2019. The environmental and legal charity ClientEarth  has been increasing  pressure on the government to use this unmissable opportunity to create stricter legislation on clean air and reduce the UK’s level of air pollution.

Recent data on UK air pollution shows that 83 per cent of reporting zones in the UK have air pollution levels which breach the UK’s legal limits. These limits are also at least two times higher than guidelines set by the World Health Organisation. (

Air pollution can have serious negative health impacts for children, older people and those with existing health problems. Estimates show air pollution causes the equivalent of 40,000 early deaths every year in the UK.

The UK’s air pollution problem is not going unnoticed. ClientEarth's recent YouGov survey revealed almost two thirds of the British public think that the UK government should introduce legally binding air pollution targets that match the WHO guidelines. The proposed UK Environment Bill is a real opportunity for the UK government to adopt those guidelines into law and become a world leader in the fight for clean air.

Simon Alcock, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigning at ClientEarth, said: “There is growing concern about the devastating health impacts of the country’s toxic air and people want to see action. The Environment Bill is an unmissable opportunity for the government to show leadership on this key public health issue. And central to this has to be a legally binding commitment to meet World Health Organisation guideline levels for particulate matter pollution.”

* More about the Environment Bill here

* ClientEarth works to protect the environment through advocacy, litigation and science


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