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UK air pollution is a public health emergency

According to a cross-party committee of Members of Parliament, air pollution in the UK is a “public health emergency” – the government’s own data shows air pollution causes 40,000–50,000 early deaths a year. The MPs’ heavily critical report says more action is required to tackle the crisis, such as giving dozens of cities that currently suffer illegal levels of air pollution stronger powers to deter polluting vehicles through charges.

The MPs’ report also says farmers must step up action to cut pollution. Ammonia emissions from farms contribute to the formation of tiny particles, one of the main causes of premature deaths and other health impacts.

Alan Andrews, a lawyer at ClientEarth, which defeated the government in the supreme court in 2015, said: “We’ve been telling the government it needs to act on air pollution for five years. Due to our legal case, the government was ordered to act. Now, almost a year on, a cross-party group of MPs has told the government it must get a grip.

It seems there is near-unanimous agreement on the need for urgent action from everyone other than the ministers responsible for dealing with our toxic air.”

Source: The Guardian, 27 April 2016

The report:

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