Leading businesses call on government to reduce air pollution

Fifteen transport businesses and organisations have joined up with environmental lawyers ClientEarth to urge the UK government to accelerate action on air pollution. 

In an open letter to the Chancellor, the group, which includes businesses UPS, Lime and Ricardo, have called on the government to support a four-point plan to accelerate action on air pollution and electric vehicle (EV) uptake.

The group have welcomed the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, which will see the UK ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in 2030, 10 years before the originally scheduled date.

However, they write: ‘Illegal and harmful levels of air pollution in the UK are estimated to cause the equivalent of over 40,000 early deaths each year and impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, particularly vulnerable groups including children.

‘Children should not have to wait another ten years to breathe clean air and we stand ready to work with the government now on a detailed roadmap that will help position the UK to “lead the world in zero-emission vehicle technology.’

The letter also comes as the Chancellor prepares to present a Spending Review tomorrow (November 25), which will lay out the government’s spending plans for the year ahead.

Ahead of the spending review, the group are calling for:

– A ‘mobility credit scheme’ to incentivise people to switch from an older polluting vehicle to a cleaner form of transport.
– Increased funding for businesses developing technologies that support a zero-emission transport system.
– Measures that would incentivise the uptake of cleaner vehicles until they reach cost-parity with petrol and diesel counterparts.
– A long-term plan for delivering electric vehicle infrastructure.

Dominic Phinn, who leads business engagement on air pollution at ClientEarth, said: ‘The government has announced a slew of ambitious reforms to tackle the climate and air pollution crises.

‘Businesses now want to see if this is going to be backed up by a clear roadmap with incentives, regulation and funding. This would allow them to invest in cleaner forms of transport with confidence.

‘We need to be honest, some businesses are opposing the inevitable direction of travel. But there is also broad appetite in the UK business community to fight against the negative impacts of air pollution.

‘This action plan has real teeth and if the government takes it up, businesses will have the clarity they need to move forward with the transition.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay 


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