Environmental Industries Commission calls for action on air pollution from next Government.
Following the recent publication of EIC’s 2015 manifesto – Priorities for the Next Government – the association’s executive director Matthew Farrow commented: “Today’s ‘very high’ air pollution rating is a stark reminder that this is the one environmental issue which is directly causing illness and premature death among tens of thousands of UK citizens.
“There are several causes to the current high pollution but that does not mean that action cannot be taken to reduce the severity of such episodes in future.
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“In our election manifesto we called on the next government to make tackling air pollution one of its priorities. A national framework of Low Emission Zones combined with additional funding to retrofit old buses with emissions filters and tougher controls on emissions from construction site machinery would be a good start in reducing the diesel pollution that drives much of our air quality problem.”
The next manifesto includes five ideas for tackling the UK’s air pollution levels:
- Making new infrastructure more sustainable – such as making new runway capacity that must be compatible with UK carbon and air quality targets, and construction site machinery must have emissions filters
- Deliver real air quality improvement to protect the public – action includes buses with old diesel engines should be retrofitted, promoting lower emissions for fuels such as LPG and electric car development must be highlighted
- Enforce existing regulations properly and support exports of environmental goods and services
- Deliver change in energy efficiency- the paper calls for a rationalisation of policy frameworks.
- Barriers for commercial businesses with property portfolios must be re-examined.
The UK environmental sector is worth £128bn in sales, covering over 50,000 companies, employs nearly one million people and makes up over 8% of exports. It has also shown fourfold growth compared to the rest of the economy in recent years.