National LEZ framework pledged in Labour manifesto

The Labour Party will seek to give local authorities “the powers they need” to tackle air pollution in their areas

The Labour Party has pledged to give local authorities “the powers they need” to tackle air pollution and will look to establish a national framework for low emission zones if Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister after the upcoming General Election on May 7 2015.

Launched today (April 13), Labour’s Manifesto 2015 also includes plans to transfer £30 billion of funding to city and county regions in order to boost devolution of power.

This, the Party claims, will “include control over local transport systems so that in future, local bodies can integrate trains, buses, trams and cycling into a single network”.

The Party is also adamant that the UK’s membership of the European Union is “central to our prosperity and security” and the Party will work to change the EU — which is currently holding discussions over introducing new air quality emissions targets in the Clean Air Package of proposals —from within.

The manifesto also includes pledges to introduce “ambitious” domestic carbon reduction targets and to create an Energy Security Board to “plan and deliver the energy mix we need”, including renewables.

Furthermore, the Party said it would introduce a legal target to remove carbon from the UK’s electricity supply by 2030, as well as seeking “ambitious” emissions reduction targets at United Nations level. The Party has described tackling climate change as an ‘economic necessity’.

Both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party are expected to launch their manifestos this week.

Other parties

Among the other parties the Liberal Democrats have pledged to introduce a Zero Carbon Bill, which includes a new legally binding target for the power sector by 2030 to support investment in low carbon electricity. The Lib Dems also said last week it would support a full network of charge points for electric cars and a £100m prize fund for low emission cars.

The Green Party also last week announced its pledge to boost funding for walking and cycling, while also voicing support for free public transport days in Paris to tackle pollution (see story).

The London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched an air quality awareness campaign as well as plans for an ultra low emission zone in the capital, but although he is seeking to be elected Conservative MP for Uxbridge next month, the Party has yet to announce any firm policies regarding air quality at a national level.

Both the Lib Dems and the Conservative Party are expected to launch their full manifestos this week.


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