Manchester Friends of the Earth calls on GM mayor candidates to support Clean Air Act fit for the 21st Century

Date published: 15 February 2017

Manchester Friends of the Earth is calling on all the Greater Manchester mayoral candidates to pledge their support for a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st Century.

A coalition of health, environment, transport and other groups including Friends of the Earth has launched today (15 February) to encourage the UK Government to take "urgent action" on air pollution through the creation of a new Clean Air Act.

The existing Clean Air Act was introduced over 60 years ago and the UK needs a new Act to tackle the sources of modern air pollution, accelerate the shift to zero-emissions transport, make the UK a world leader in clean technology, and improve existing laws to ensure that we enshrine the right to breathe clean air in law.

Air pollution in the UK harms our health and it is estimated that it causes 40,000 premature deaths every year.

In Greater Manchester, it has been estimated that air pollution causes nearly 2000 premature deaths each year. The air we inhale on the way to work, school and in our neighbourhoods, has levels of pollution above EU legal limits for the toxic gas Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).

With the government saying that road traffic is the biggest threat, and with diesel vehicles being the worst of all, we need bold, urgent action including Clean Air Zones around the country including one for Manchester

Colette Humphrey, Manchester Friends of the Earth campaigner said: "We need urgent action to tackle this public health crisis and clean up Greater Manchester's illegal filthy air. We need the Government to provide funding for Clean Air Zones for all vehicle types, by 2018 to bring air pollution within legal limits.

"We are asking all the Greater Manchester mayoral candidates to join the growing number of city leaders calling on the Government to introduce a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st Century.”

New research has revealed that 58% of the British public now believe that current levels of air pollution in the UK are harmful or very harmful to public health. The poll, conducted by YouGov, found that 65% would support a new Clean Air Act to tackle the issue.

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