We all have the right to clean air, yet millions of people across the UK are breathing toxic air on a daily basis. A recent report found that outdoor air pollution is linked to 40,000 deaths in the UK each year, and health experts warn that there is no safe level for pollutants. Toxic air affects every one of us, from the time that we are in the womb and through to old age, though some are more vulnerable, including those on the lowest incomes.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, reflects on the work the authority is doing to tackle a national public health crisis on a local level
Turn on the tap at home or in your workplace and you can be sure that what comes out will be safe to drink. We take clean drinking water for granted – though so many others around the world can’t -because we view it as a basic human right rather than a privilege.
Solar PV funding from Salix Finance
Salix Finance is a non-profit, government-funded organisation which provides interest-free funding to the public sector to improve their energy efficiency. Salix funds over 100 energy efficient and low carbon technologies in the form of a loan, paid back through energy savings.
Local power drives change – why councils hold the keys to the electric car revolution
Illegal and toxic air pollution is hurting people’s health, damaging their quality of life, and cutting lives short, and as a result it’s rocketing up the political agenda. As a medieval city with 21st century transport problems, Oxford has a problem with traffic-related air pollution that’s leading my council to take radical steps. Our determination to protect the health of our neighbourhoods can never succeed unless we truly clean up transport. Together with other councils, Oxford is campaigning for new money and powers from Government but also refusing to wait indefinitely for national change. Oxford’s ambition is simple—to introduce the world’s first Zero Emission Zone into our city centre.
16 Mayors, Metro Mayors and City Leaders call on Philip Hammond to make a cash injection into the Clean Air Fund as part of next week’s Budget
- Leaders say £220m Clean Air Fund is ‘inadequate’ to fight ‘public health crisis’
- A new £1.75bn Clean Air Fund would represent 0.2% of government spending
- Joint letter also calls for a national targeted vehicle renewal scheme that prioritises the least well-off and small businesses to rid roads of the most polluting vehicles
A new charter for cleaner air is to be launched by Oxford City Council, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth, calling on the Government to place the health of communities first.
As leaders across Britain we see the challenges our communities face and acknowledge our responsibility to secure the future for them and for people around the world when faced with the challenge of a changing climate.
The people who live in the towns and cities we serve deserve warm homes, secure and affordable energy, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and live in a town or city of which they can proud.
This will help us ensure we keep the lights on, generate our own power for our nation, protect consumers from high and unstable energy prices and end our dependence on imported fuel from states we would rather not rely on.
The future we face requires ambition and imagination so that our children can have a safe and secure future, so we will take action that tackles climate change but also builds cities which are the best places for our children to grow up.
We have a crisis: we have a responsibility to deal with it.
We are uniquely placed to contribute to the solutions we need, because of our industrial past and we have demonstrated throughout our history that we are able and willing to lead on finding solutions to the new challenges the world faces.
We have the ambition of making all our towns and cities across the UK 100% clean before 2050, in line with the commitments made nationally and internationally at the Paris Summit.
We hope other towns and cities across the globe will join us to demonstrate that this transition will happen through acts of leadership, and that a transition to a clean energy future is both viable and already beginning to happen in many towns and cities today. Our UK towns and cities are committed to making a better future for all.