Thursday, March 15, 2012
Victoria's Green Matters - 15th March 2012
Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:It is astounding to think that the UK has some of Europe’s worst air pollution but money rears its ugly head once more with the government stating that it cannot afford to comply with European Union (EU) laws on air quality.
Britain’s considerable air pollution comes mostly from traffic and we have consistently failed to meet EU targets and time limits to reduce the amount of soot and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in our atmosphere. These pollutants arise from burning diesel fuel.
How can we ‘not afford’ to meet these standards when breaching the EU regulations could lead to hefty fines? The government has already successfully argued for more time to comply but has even stated that it will not meet the new deadline of 2015.
Poor air quality is responsible for at least 2,905 deaths annually in London and probably many more according to the London Assembly’s Environment Committee. High levels of NO2, particulates and ground level ozone lead to heart and lung diseases and cause complications for people with other conditions. London’s Low Emission Zone begins to tackle some of the problems of pollution in the city, but does not go far enough.
It is very sad that with the Clean Air Act, many years ago now, we greatly improved the air quality in the UK which had become dire during the industrial revolution and beyond due to heavy industry but now we still continue to endure the poorest air quality in Europe