People, Environment

Activists Slam UK’s Poor Air Pollution Response

Activists Slam UK’s Poor Air Pollution ResponseActivists Slam UK’s Poor Air Pollution Response

Campaigners have criticized the UK government for rejecting calls by MPs for greater action on air pollution. Describing air pollution as a “public health emergency”, MPs had told ministers in April to take further measures, including more clean air zones and a diesel scrappage scheme. Officials claimed on Tuesday that the government was already spending heavily on cleaner transport and that it plans to consult on a framework for clean air zones later this year, The Guardian reported. The MPs had wanted all cities to be able to charge polluting vehicles instead of just the five that the government is planning to allow. But officials responded: “Local authorities can take action as and when necessary.” They also rejected the idea of a diesel scrappage scheme, saying “it may not be an appropriate and proportionate response”. Environment groups slammed the government response, saying plans to reduce pollution were “inadequate” and “in disarray”. “Despite the mounting evidence of the dangers people face having to breathe our illegally dirty air, the government is refusing to take the bold action needed to cut the 40,000 early deaths from air pollution each year in the UK,” said a spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth.