My response to toxic smog across the UK

March 19, 2015

People across London and the UK have woken up to high levels of air pollution and ‘toxic smog’ today – caused by air pollution blowing in from Europe and mixing with domestically produce smog.

As the Labour Party’s spokesperson on the environment and shadow rapporteur for the National Emissions Ceiling Directive, I have been seeking to reduce air across the EU by setting tougher targets for nations to push governments to take more concerted action to reduce this growing problem.

According to the government advisory board, the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, poor air quality contributes to 60,000 deaths every year in the UK.

Reacting to the high levels of air pollution today, I said:

“The toxic smog that is currently covering not only the UK but also parts of the continent demonstrates how urgently we need to see comprehensive action across all levels of government to combat air pollution.

So far this year my region, London has already breached its air pollution targets and the Mayor’s response advising people to stay indoors rather than taking action to solve the root of the problem simply isn’t good enough.

I am proud to say that the European Parliament by contrast is working with other governments, cities and regions as well as manufacturers and industrial sources of air pollution to improve the quality of our air and to save lives.”

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