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Clean Air
Responding to the government's new environmental targets, Jason Torrance, Assistant Chief Executive of UK100, says lives will be cut short by the lack of air quality ambition.

Responding to the government's new environmental targets, Jason Torrance, Assistant Chief Executive of UK100, says:

"The Government’s long-awaited Environment Act targets on air pollution have kicked the can down the road, a decade further than local leaders across the UK have called for and could see between 260,000 and 380,000 more lives cut short by air pollution in a decade-long delay. The public health emergency of air pollution requires urgent action from Ministers who need to work with local leaders to match their ambition and go further, faster to ensure we can all breathe easier."


Notes to the editors

In June, cross-party local and regional leaders from the UK100 network pledged to meet the WHO target in their regions by 2030.

They called on the Government to, at least, match their ambition.

The joint letter from cross-party mayors and local leaders was sent on Clean Air Day, which coincided with a report from the National Audit Office that exposed the Government’s air quality failings.

The letter to the Environment Secretary was coordinated by UK100 and signed by more than 20 mayors and leaders, including Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, UK100 Co-presidents Tracy Brabin and Richard Clewer, and Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green leaders from across the country.

The letter urged the Defra Secretary to:

  • Bring forward the UK's air quality target to 2030 in line with the WHO’s interim guideline and provide local leaders with the powers and funding to meet this target.
  • Put in place a longer-term target to meet the WHO’s updated guidelines — half of the interim limit.
  • Establish a national public awareness campaign around the health impacts of air pollution and its causes, including domestic wood burning.

About UK100

UK100’s primary purpose is to support a local-led rapid transition to Net Zero and Clean Air.

We do this through collaboration.

To accelerate action, we believe in bringing together the most influential leaders across the country to learn together and agree on priorities for legislative and regulatory change while empowering them to engage with national decision-makers.

We provide our network with the knowledge, tools and connections to make this happen.