Public Air Quality Consultation to be Held Later This Year
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Liz Truss has confirmed that DEFRA are pressing ahead with plans to hold a public consultation on revised air quality plans aimed at ensuring the UK complies with European Union NO2 limits. Speaking in London, the minister emphasised the importance of the natural environment in helping the economy, saying, “A healthy natural environment and a healthy economy go hand in hand in today’s world. It is no accident that nature is improving most quickly in some of the most prosperous countries like Switzerland. And that as countries become wealthier, like China, they seek out the latest environmental innovations to prevent smog and clean up water supplies.”
The news comes at the same time as non-profit organisation Deliver Change launched ‘Let’s Make Air Pollution Visible’, a new initiative bringing together businesses, government and local groups to try to solve the problem of poor air quality.
As part of the initiative, the AirSensa air quality network will be established to collect data in UK cities. The network will initially consist of 10,000 air quality sensors in Greater London sponsored by donors and local businesses.
Air pollution is thought to contribute to roughly 30,000 premature deaths each year in the UK, and the World Health Organization estimates that the problem costs the economy £53bn each year.