UK AIR (run by DEFRA) issued a Code Red for air pollution last night covering the East Midlands and Eastern region of England. This is for ozone, which is triggered by a chemical reaction in the air due to the heat,. Atmospheric conditions then trap the polluted air in a heat dome, stopping it from escaping upwards. DEFRA stopped issuing press releases for air pollution alerts in 2011, when the issue hit several front pages.
A Bill calling for Clean Air as a human right has attracted cross party support ahead of its Second Reading on Friday morning (10am, 8 July 2022) in the Lords. The legislation is being called Ella’s law in the hope that it will stop others suffering a similar fate to Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi-Debrah, who died of air pollution when 9 years old and was the first person to have air pollution put as an official cause of death.
Why are the government hiding the fact that English local authorities now burn far more of your household waste than they recycle? A few weeks ago the government put out pages of statistics on the decline of recycling in 2020 and blamed Covid. Some journalists printed it, most ignored it, none looked at how it fitted a long term trend of recycling flat lining because incineration has increased.
The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has said that he is “proud to join with Baroness Jenny Jones and Rosamund Kissi-Debrah to support this Bill in Ella’s memory, as we know that Clean Air should be a Human Right.”
My Clean Air Act is top of the Lords’ ballot for private members bills which means that it stands a good chance of getting through all three stages in the Lords, before moving into the Commons. The bill aims to protect the public against air pollution which is one of the biggest public health hazards of our time and responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths in the UK. I’ve been working on this issue for over twenty years, but this is my best chance to get the government to take decisive action.
There is no logical reason why you would want to replace the Edmonton Incinerator in North London, nor build any of the other 50 new waste incinerators that are in the planning pipeline at the moment.
Although old train engines and boats do contribute to air pollution, they will be fairly localised and minimal compared with other emissions being pumped out by, for example, the Government building new roads or opening new coal mines—or indeed allowing the growth of incinerators all over the country that operate without proper regulations.
Sign our petition to strengthen the Environment Bill here
The City of London Corporation, London Councils, Clean Air London, a Lib Dem Peer and a Green Peer: these are people you might not think would naturally link together—but on this issue we are speaking with one voice. There is a problem and we have to fix it, and this is how you can fix it.
What is the point of having targets if there is no duty to meet them?
Support our petition to strengthen the Environment Bill here
Please understand that this is a public health crisis. I have tried to get the issue of air pollution into other Bills, but I was always put off and told that whatever Bill it was was not the right Bill to put air pollution in. When we are talking environment, this, the Environment Bill, is the Bill to add air pollution as a serious issue.