16 June 2020
Green Party Press Release
Cambridge Green Party argue that reducing air pollution levels to within WHO guidelines is feasible ambition as air pollution dramatically fell in Cambridge this April.
Tuesday 16th June, 2020
A recent Cambridge Council report shows that in April 2020 that air pollutants had dropped significantly. Nitrogen pollutants and tiny particulates (PM10 and PM 2.5) fell by an average of 50%. ** This compares to April 2019, where the UK National Air Quality Standards were broken fifteen times in Cambridge. The UK standards remain lower than the World Health Organisation 2005 Air Quality Guidelines; when pollution exceeds these recommended levels, public health suffers.
Co-Coordinator of the Cambridge Green Party, Hannah Charlotte Copley, said “The findings are not surprising. It’s wonderful being outside, the air tastes and smells cleaner. This unexpected consequence of the national lockdown makes it clear that cleaning our air is feasible and desirable.”
Public Health England estimates that between 2017 and 2035 air pollution will be the cause of 1.3 million illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, lung cancer and low birth weight in England. In Cambridgeshire 5.4 in every 100 deaths of people aged over 30 are linked to long-term exposure to air pollution. It has also become clear across the world that high Covid death rates are associated with areas with high air pollution. Air pollution damages not only health, but our public institutions and the economy. The Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee estimated that it will cost the NHS and social care providers between £8.5 and £20.2 billion per year, plus extra costs due to missed work.
We’ve all enjoyed the cleaner air during the lockdown; isn’t it time to change the way we run our city to make this permanent and protect our citizens from the harmful effects of air pollution?” asks Jeremy Caddick, Cambridge Green Party parliamentary candidate, “We need a strong and joined up strategy to reduce air pollution by encouraging more walking and cycling, electric cars, buses and taxis.”
It's time to act and let Cambridge breathe. The Cambridge Green Party calls on Mayor James Palmer, the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership, Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council to develop a joint plan by 2021 to reduce air pollution levels to within World Health Organisation guidelines by 2025.