Despite its image as a world-class city, London has some of the worst air quality in the UK and some of the most polluted streets in Europe. In many parts of London, legal limits designed to protect people’s health are not being met. These limits should have been met in 2010 but under current plans, will not be achieved until 2025 at the earliest. Even achieving legal limits will not solve the health problem; significant health effects including early deaths and hospital admissions still occur at levels significantly below the current limits. There is evidence to suggest disadvantaged communities are particularly impacted in areas of poor air quality given the geographies.
Addressing emissions from road transport, and particularly diesel vehicles, is key to tackling air pollution in London. The Mayor of London has announced a series of ambitious air quality proposals including an extended ULEZ, which would aim to discourage some of the dirtiest vehicles from entering central London.
While these current proposals are a significant step towards meeting legal limits they still need to go further, and so we are supporting Client Earth to engage with London’s Businesses who are key to tackling this issue.
Client Earth is a charity dedicated to providing solutions to key environmental challenges. They want to encourage both a residential and a commercial behavioural shift towards greener ways of travelling around and doing business. This would not only benefit human health but also potentially create economic opportunities for businesses that develop the new products and services needed to succeed. Client Earth wants to build business support for this shift and to make London a world leader in sustainable urban transport whilst also achieving an enhanced Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
Our Trustee the City of London Corporation has been engaging with business on air quality for several years through its City Air programme and this project will build on the work already being undertaken.
With the funding from CBT, Client Earth has recruited a Business Engagement Officer to lead the Clean Air team’s business engagement project in London. This Officer is working with key stakeholders on how they can contribute to improving air quality in the capital while making London a global leader in sustainable urban transport.
For more information see: www.clientearth.org/topic/air-pollution/