‘Clean Air in London’ wins cross-party support

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Clean Air in London wins cross-party support

The Campaign for Clean Air in London is delighted to announce today that it has received over 50 Pledges from leading politicians and business and community groups to support its cross-party campaign to improve air quality throughout London.

In  recent  weeks,  we  have  invited  Tony  Blair,  the  Prime  Minister,  David  Miliband,  as Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and Ken Livingstone, as Mayor of London, together with various other leading politicians and organisations to Pledge their support to the Campaign for Clean Air in London.   On 23 January, Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Air Quality within Defra, issued a news release titled “Greater action needed to deliver cleaner air”.  Mr Bradshaw said “More needs to be done at local, national and European level if cleaner air is to be achieved” and commented that “Nitrogen dioxide and particulates continue to be a problem in specific locations – usually associated with traffic emissions”.

Pledges of support have been received now from 24 leading politicians representing all four of the main political parties in London.  The Campaign for Clean Air in London is delighted also to have received Pledges of support from the Central London Partnership (which works by bringing together public and private sector influence to create positive change in Central London), London First (representing around 300 leading businesses in London) and The Knightsbridge Business Group (representing 18  leading businesses in  the Knightsbridge area).   These individuals and organisations join 27 community groups, representing virtually the whole of Central London, who have also confirmed their support for the Campaign.

Those giving Pledges have confirmed their support for the aim of the Campaign for Clean Air in London which is to achieve urgently World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended standards of air quality throughout London.  They have also confirmed their support for the six fundamental principles that underpin the Campaign’s aim:

1.    Acknowledge that “Unlimited and free access to clean air of acceptable quality is a fundamental human necessity and right” and “that an unequal distribution of health risks over the population raises concerns of environmental justice and equity”;

2.    Achieve urgently WHO recommended standards of air quality throughout London (and the United Kingdom);

3.    Protect  Londoners  by  increasing  substantially  public  awareness  of  the  serious  air pollution problem in London (and elsewhere in the United Kingdom);

4.    Treat air pollution holistically, and its two main elements equally robustly in relevant initiatives, and back annual targets and necessary measures with legislation i.e. air pollution can cause climate change (e.g. through carbon dioxide) and poor air quality (e.g. through nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and street level ozone);

5.    Tackle air quality to improve the international competitiveness of London (and the United Kingdom as a whole) by taking tough action in the short term to deliver long term benefits; and

6.     Demonstrate the political will necessary to achieve and exceed WHO recommended standards for air quality by taking tangible steps that result quickly in measurable improvements in air quality.

For further information, please see also our website “Air quality: Campaign for Clean Air in London” on the BBC Action Network at:

http://www.cleanair.london/

where this Campaign Update has been published today.

Quote from London First:

Commenting on the Campaign for Clean Air in London, Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said: “London’s businesses endorse efforts to improve air quality. But the so called Low Emission Zone targets a fraction of vehicles, irrespective of their climate change impact.  Road-user charging offers a better solution.  The Mayor’s congestion charge income could help pay for road-user charging pilots, schemes flexible enough to sort out traffic bottlenecks and reduce pollution at the same time.”

Quote from the Campaign for Clean Air in London:

Simon Birkett, Principal Contact for the Campaign for Clean Air in London, said: “According to the Mayor, more than 1,000 people died in London in 2005 from one form of air pollution alone (called particulate matter).  This is more than four times the number of people who died in the city from road traffic accidents.

The Campaign for Clean Air in London has reached its first milestone by finding a “critical mass” of leading politicians and organisations with the collective will and determination to tackle the serious problem of air pollution.  We thank all our supporters and ask only one thing of them: that they should work with others to achieve urgently World Health Organisation recommended standards of air quality throughout London.

Our next priorities include pressing David Miliband to achieve, in the proposed European Union Directive on Air Pollution, a result that combines the best of the positions taken last year by each of the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. In the UK, we will be looking to see the Government deliver legislation that tackles air pollution holistically, effectively and ambitiously.

We are pressing also for fresh thinking on the proposed Low Emission Zone in London and in the forthcoming Air Quality Strategies from Defra and the London boroughs that will deliver urgently substantial measurable improvements in London’s air quality.”

Contacts:

Campaign for Clean Air in London
Simon Birkett, Principal Contact.

Contact Simon through the Campaign homepage on the BBC Action Network web link above.

Central London Partnership

Patricia Brown, Chief Executive. Telephone: 020 7478 8460

London First

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive. Telephone: 020 7665 1500

The Knightsbridge Association

Winston Fletcher, Chair. Telephone: 020 7584 5262

Please use the link below to see details of The Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy:

http://www.london.gov.uk/publication/mayors-air-quality-strategy

APPENDIX

PLEDGES GIVEN TO SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN FOR CLEAN AIR IN LONDON

Business and other organisations:

Central London Partnership (see www.c-london.co.uk) London First (see www.london-first.co.uk)
The Knightsbridge Business Group

Personal Pledges from leading politicians:

Sian Berry, Principal Speaker, Green Party
Mark Field MP, Conservative
The Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind QC MP, Conservative
John Bowis MEP, London, Conservative Party
Jean Lambert MEP, London, Green Party
Baroness Ludford MEP, London, Liberal Democrat
Angie Bray* AM, Leader of the Conservative Party, London Assembly
*  The  Conservative  GLA  members  would  not  support  making  the  Low  Emission  Zone applicable to all vehicles if that option was proposed.
Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the Environment Committee, London Assembly, Green Party
Len Duvall AM, Leader of the Labour Group, London Assembly
Jeanette Arnold AM, Labour
John Biggs AM, Labour
Nicky Gavron AM, Deputy Mayor of London, Labour
Joanne McCartney AM, Labour
Valerie Shawcross AM, Labour
Murad Qureshi AM, Labour
Mike Tuffrey AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, London Assembly
Dee Doocey AM, Liberal Democrat
Baroness Hamwee AM, Liberal Democrat
Geoff Pope AM, Liberal Democrat
The Lord Tope, AM, Liberal Democrat
Councillor Frances Blois, City of Westminster, Conservative
Councillor Tony Devenish, City of Westminster,
Conservative Councillor Philippa Roe, City of Westminster, Conservative
Councillor Margot James, The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Conservative

Community Groups and Amenity societies:

Bayswater Residents Association
Belgravia Residents Association
The Brompton Association
The Chelsea Society
The Cheyne Walk Trust
Covent Garden Community Association
Edwardes Square Scarsdale and Abingdon Association
Environment Round Table (in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea)
Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association
Heard and Dean Streets Residents Association
Hyde Park Estate Association
The St John’s Wood Society
Kensington Red Route Action Group
The Kensington Society
The Knightsbridge Association
The Marylebone Association
The St Marylebone Society
North Paddington Society
Queen’s Park Estate Society
Resident Society of Mayfair and St James’s
The Soho Society
South East Bayswater Residents’ Association
The Thorney Island Society
Westbourne Neighbourhood Association
Westbourne Park Villa’s Residents’ Association
West London Residents Association
The Westminster Society