Mayor of London: Government’s PM2.5 target ‘condemns another generation’

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has today published his response to the government’s consultation on new legal limits for air pollution, arguing the latest target ‘condemns another generation of children’ to grow up with asthma and other health issues.

The government is currently consulting on new targets to be included in the Environment Act, including a legally binding target to reduce levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) to 10 micrograms per cubic metre by 2040.

The Mayor of London has criticised this target as ‘deeply disappointing and unambitious’, after he pledged in 2019 to reduce PM2.5 in London in line with the World Health Organization’s interim guidelines by 2030.

With air quality already impacting people’s health across London and the wider country, Mr Khan believes the government should aim to achieve its target in eight years, rather than 18.

silhouette of buildings during sunset

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: ‘The passing of the new Environment Act last year should have provided the impetus Government needed to tackle some of the most pressing environmental concerns of our age.

‘Instead, we’re being offered nothing but more dither and delay as ministers set unambitious targets that condemn yet another generation of children to the risk of developing stunted lungs, asthma and a whole host of other health issues.

‘We’ve done the research, we’re taking the world-leading action, we know that here in London we can achieve the Government’s target for PM2.5 a decade earlier than they are proposing by introducing measures proven to be effective. There is no reason for national government not to match the scale of our ambition for the health of Londoners.

‘The setting of targets should never be seen as an end in and of itself, but strategic and measurable targets can make a huge difference in working to protect our environment and our city’s residents from the consequences of pollution. That is why I urge ministers to think again about the scope of these targets and commit to doing much more to protect the next generation from the scourge of toxic air.’

Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, BreatheLife Ambassador and Founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation commented: ‘Children born today shouldn’t have to wait until they are 18 years old to have clean air.

‘We know that achieving the WHO 2005 guidelines by 2030 is achievable and affordable, even within current plans and policies. Achieving targets set in 2005 by 2040, 35 years later, is too long to wait.’

Photo by Ana Paula Grimaldi


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