London's new air quality measures to benefit poorest the most

11th January 2019


Web london smog istock 178876711

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Transport ,
  • England ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management

Author

Michelle Dixon

New measures to reduce London's air pollution will particularly benefit people living in the capital's most deprived areas, research from emissions consultants Aether has revealed.

It also forecasts that no school in London will be exposed to illegally high levels of air pollution by 2025, with the number dropping from 371 in 2013 to just four by 2020.

The projections are based on the introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone in April, along with other measures such as tree planting programmes and boosting charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: “It cannot be right that your background and where you live determines the quality of the air you breathe, and that is exactly why measures like the Ultra Low Emission Zone are so vital.“

“By taking tough action, we can ensure that within six years the most deprived schools will be no more likely to have higher exposure to NO2 pollution than the least deprived schools.“

Aether estimates that people living in London's poorest areas are exposed to around a quarter more NO2 pollution on average, but that this gap will reduce 71% by 2030 thanks to Khan's new measures.

Commissioned by City Hall, the research also found that people from mixed or multiple ethnic groups are more likely to live in areas with higher NO2 pollution than white residents.

It is projected that the difference in exposure between the areas in which these ethnic groups live will reduce by 85%.

But despite this progress reducing NO2 levels, the research highlights lower improvements for cutting PM2.5 particles, with all Londoners still expected to be living in areas exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines in 2030.

City Hall said Khan “simply does not have the regulatory powers to address this problem“, and cannot tackle emissions from buildings, for example, but that he continues to lobby the government for these.

British Heart Foundation chief executive, Simon Gillespie, said: “It's now paramount that action is taken at national level to protect those most vulnerable from the damaging effects of the air we breathe.

“This means bringing the WHO's guideline limits into UK law to ensure that everyone across the UK is protected from the health harms of poor air quality.“

Image credit: iStock

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

A hangover from EU legislation, requirements on the need for consideration of nutrient neutrality for developments on many protected sites in England were nearly removed from the planning system in 2023.

2nd April 2024

Read more

It’s well recognised that the public sector has the opportunity to work towards a national net-zero landscape that goes well beyond improving on its own performance; it can also influence through procurement and can direct through policy.

19th March 2024

Read more

The UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy is based on optimistic techno-economic assumptions that are now outdated, Carbon Tracker has warned.

13th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close