The ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ campaign calling for a Clean Air Act for the 21st Century has already gathered support from a number of MPs, MEPs, AMs and councillors:
Members of Parliament
Matthew Pennycook MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution
“Air pollution is the UK’s leading environmental health risk and needs concerted action at all levels. This should be supported through a new Clean Air Act, fit for purpose to enable us to breathe clean, safe air across our country – particularly in our most polluted cities, from London to Leeds, and Birmingham to Bristol and Brighton.”
Kerry McCarthy MP, former Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
“The Clean Air Act of 1956 tackled the problems of those times, yet air pollution is still a real and present danger. We have children who can’t go out into school playgrounds, and their parents being advised to avoid main roads, because pollution is so bad. And it’s a social justice issue too, as poorer communities are more likely to be affected. The current Government would have done nothing if it hadn’t been taken to court by Client Earth, but its response is still woefully inadequate. The case for action is clear: it’s time for a new Clean Air Act.”
Alan Whitehead MP for Southampton Test and SERA Parliamentary Link
“We’ve got to take urgent action on air quality. Southampton is one of the UK cities identified as having unacceptable air quality, and Labour’s Southampton City Council are determined to get to grips with it.
What are the tools we need to do the work and how available are they? What should government do to support Southampton? We need to know all the answers to these questions and I’m looking to A Breath of Fresh Air to provide them.”
Daniel Zeichner MP, Shadow Transport Minister
“The referendum has put a countdown on our vital European environmental protections, most dramatically our right to clean air. For years the UK has consistently breached EU and WHO safety limits, and it has been European law that has safeguarded our right to demand action.
We must not allow UK air quality to be weakened by the decision on 23rd June. We cannot go back to being the dirty man of Europe. We need the bold, robust and ambitious Clean Air Act that SERA are campaigning for.”
Jeff Smith MP for Manchester Withington
“For successful cities like Manchester, our challenge is to ensure that air quality is not a casualty of growth. We need environmental protections that keep the air that we breathe safe for our residents.
SERA’s Clean Air Campaign can help us combine the EU environmental protections that we have long relied upon, with bold and ambitious policies and targets of our own.
From low-emission zones to car scrappage schemes and low-carbon public transport, I am looking forward to promoting the innovative solutions we need in Manchester to tackle air pollution and promote greener growth.”
Members of the European Parliament
Seb Dance MEP, Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety
“EU rules have been turned to time and time again to hold the British government to account on air pollution. After the Referendum vote, these protections are in serious peril. If we lose them, a new Clean Air Act will become even more critical to avoid the tragic loss of lives in UK cities.
The inconvenient truth for those who sought to argue the environmental benefits of a Britain outside the EU, is that air pollution has an unfortunate habit of not respecting borders: over one-third of the UK’s air pollution is blown in from across the English Channel.
Cross-border co-operation and common laws across European countries will be crucial, whether Britain is part of the EU or not, in ensuring we do not end up with a race to the bottom on environmental standards. Any new regulation in the UK must reflect this reality.”
Linda McAvan MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development
“Air pollution in the UK causes more premature deaths than alcohol and obesity combined. While EU membership has ensured the UK is compliant with higher standards of environmental protections tackling cross-border issues such as air pollution needs a strong and unified approach. In light of the result of the EU Referendum, such lifesaving laws cannot be disregarded. We need the Clean Air Act as a matter of public health.”
Anneliese Dodds MEP for South East England
“Now more than ever it’s essential we campaign to combat dirty air, one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. It’s great to see SERA taking the lead on this and I hope lots of people will take action to pressure the government to clean up its act.”
Clare Moody MEP for the South West and Gibraltar
“SERA’s ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ campaign is vital for making the government take the quality of our air seriously. Thousands die from the effects of air pollution every year, while many more, including children, have to live the health problems that it causes. We must keep the pressure on the UK government to comply with the EU legislation and put action in place of words to protect the health and lives of British citizens.”
Members of the National Assembly for Wales
Huw Irranca-Davies AM, former UK Environment Minister and past Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee
“Air pollution is an invisible killer. You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. Yet every year it contributes to the premature deaths of 1,320 people here in Wales. With Cardiff, Chepstow, Swansea and Port Talbot in breach of WHO safe air pollution levels, we need action to safeguard our health and wellbeing. We need further powers devolved to the Welsh Assembly to tackle air pollution. We need a new Clean Air Act for the 21st Century.”
Members of the London Assembly
Leonie Cooper AM, Chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee and SERA Executive Member
“People shouldn’t be dying from the air they breathe in 21st Century Britain. The Government needs to act to stop this now. That is why I am calling for a new Clean Air Act, to give local authorities and city regions the powers they need to curb air pollution.”
Len Duvall AM, Leader of the London Assembly Labour Group
“Poor air quality has afflicted some of London’s most vulnerable communities including school children and those in deprived areas. We’re in desperate need of urgent action to tackle this silent killer. At the heart of that should be a new Clear Air Act fit for the 21st Century.”
Supported by Nicky Gavron AM, Jennette Arnold OBE AM, Fiona Twycross AM, Unmesh Desai AM
Councillor Gill Mitchell, Deputy Leader of Brighton and Hove Council and Chair of the Environment, Transport, and Sustainability Committee
“In Brighton and Hove we have seen an encouraging improvement in air quality across the city over the last few years, but we have much more to do. Helping transport operators clean up their fleets makes a real difference. The Clean Air Act for the 21st Century must recognise the vital role sustainable transport has to play.”
Supported by Councillors’ Jon Burke and Arjun Mittra.
More information can be found in SERA’s special publication ‘A Breath of Fresh Air | A Clean Air Act for the 21st Century’.