Government pledges to clamp down on air pollution

PA Wire  PA Images

PA Wire PA Images

The government has pledged to bring pollution down from dangerously high levels for millions of United Kingdom citizens within six years.

The most polluting log burners will be banned within three years while coal could be outlawed under the Government's new air pollution strategy. It also acknowledges World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines as the best standard to abide by.

The Government also intends to restrict sales of wet wood for domestic burning and apply sulphur and smoke emission limits to all solid fuels.

"Air pollution shortens lives, harms our children and reduces quality of life".

And it has promised to slash emissions of ammonia, an agricultural gas produced by rotting farm waste and fertiliser. "We must take strong, urgent action", said Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Air pollution is estimated to contribute to 40,000 early deaths in the United Kingdom as tiny particulates and exhaust fumes reach deep into the lungs and bloodstream, causing lung and heat problems.

The proposals were broadly welcomed but health associations and campaign groups said they didn't go almost far enough and pointed out that some measures had already been announced. Our ambitious strategy includes new targets, new powers for local government and confirms that our forthcoming Environment Bill will include new primary legislation on air quality.

"However, we're disappointed that it doesn't include a clear commitment to adopt the World Health Organization limits for particulate matter pollution in the upcoming Environment Bill".

Natural England has a team of experts poised to support farmers to take action which will help improve our environment and safeguard our precious natural habitats from the damaging effects of nitrogen pollution. He warned air pollution poses the "single greatest environmental threat to human health".

They also don't think the plan proposes anything new to tackle roadside dirty air. Meanwhile, two thirds of the United Kingdom population live in areas above that limit, while the average level in central London is 15.2.

The UK is the first major economy to adopt goals based on World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations, and the United Nations agency has praised the strategy as "an example for the rest of the world to follow".

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