Clean Air

Air pollution is a national emergency - killing thousands every year in the UK. UK100 is calling for legislation that protects us from dirty air and enables the UK to become a world leader in clean technologies and solutions.

Air pollution is the top environmental risk to human health in the UK, killing between 28,000 and 36,000 people a year. UK100’s local leaders are committed to working together to tackle it and are implementing innovative solutions to protect their residents. But there’s so much more to do. As well as taking action locally, UK100’s network is united in calling on the UK government to do more. This is a national problem that needs a national action.


Working with civil society, the public sector and business, UK100 is calling for legislation that protects us from dirty air and enables the UK to become a world leader in clean technologies and solutions. Central to this call is for the adoption of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended air pollution limits as legally binding targets to be achieved by 2030. Further information on upcoming Clean Air legislation can be found in our Environment Bill briefing.

Clean air and the Environment Bill

After a six-month delay, the Environment Bill returned to parliament on 3 November 2020, picking up in committee stage where it paused in spring. The committee will be on a tight schedule before it goes to the report stage on 1 December. MPs will then continue to debate amendments, which include calls for more ambitious targets.

To help us call for WHO air pollution standards to be adopted into the Environment Bill, and to show support for your communities breathing world-class air, please use our handy social media pack, which contains memes and suggested copy.

There’s one pack for local leaders and one for business. The pack for local leaders includes a pro forma letter to send to your local MPs drafted by Camden Council, who are fully committed to using all the powers they have to push for WHO standards by 2030.

Clean Air Declaration October 2019

Urgent action to eliminate air pollution must be a national priority and we as local leaders and business leaders are committed to prioritising action to protect people’s health and to tackle the climate emergency. Inadequate investment, a lack of national frameworks and consistent approaches, and the absence of necessary powers are stifling our ability to act.

Together we can eliminate air pollution by working in partnership and if action is taken forward across government to:

  • Require, and provide necessary resources for, the meeting of world-leading World Health Organization air pollution standards by 2030 (as a minimum) in the Environment Bill that will eliminate pollution from controllable sources.
  • Establish a programme that provides financial support for the poorest in our society and for small businesses to switch to cleaner vehicles, shared transport or active travel via schemes such as mobility credits, and also includes a £1.5bn fleet renewal programme, stimulating the market to deliver cleaner vehicles, including heavy freight, municipal vehicles and for retrofit solutions. 
  • Grant local authorities and mayors the powers and funding they need to deliver zero-emission transport networks, encourage and enable behaviour change -including the promotion of active travel, and tackle non-road transport sources of pollution including: public transport, infrastructure, construction, planning and enforcement.
  • Create certainty for business and local government by setting out an ambitious roadmap to 2030 as part of a strengthened UK government clean air strategy that empowers business, local authorities and public bodies to collaborate with confidence and put in place the necessary actions needed for clean air.