‘Clean Air in London’ calls for “Ella’s Law” after landmark verdict

Landmark verdict confirms that air pollution significantly caused and significantly contributed to the death of Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi-Debrah on 15 February 2013.

‘Clean Air in London’ calls for new Clean Air Act before COP26 to be called ‘Ella’s Law’

Philip Barlow, Deputy Coroner, delivered his verdict touching on the death of Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi-Debrah on Wednesday 16 December 2020. 



Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London, said:

“I wish to express my heartfelt sympathy to Rosamund Adoo Kissi-Debrah and her family on the tragic death of Ella Roberta, a talented and beautiful little girl.

“Due to Rosamund’s inspiring and determined efforts that led to this landmark judgment, we now know that air pollution exposure significantly caused and significantly contributed to Ella Roberta’s death.  Well done and thank you Rosamund.

“It is the duty of the Government to protect life and the environment for current and future generations and to do this they need a new Clean Air Act which will deal with present pollution and clean up the environment for future generations.  

“Clean Air in London is calling therefore for the Clean Air Act 1993 to be updated for modern fuels, technologies and circumstances before COP26.

“We need new duties and powers for the Government, Metro Mayors and local authorities to work together to reduce air pollution from traffic and buildings and take action when air pollution exceeds World Health Organisation guidelines.  This action must include warnings and steps to protect children and others during air pollution episodes.

“Clean Air in London and Harrison Grant Solicitors have drafted such a law which could become “Ella’s Law” if Rosamund Adoo Kissi-Debrah and her advisers agree.  They are welcome to amend, decline or support it once the result of today’s momentous result has had time to sink in.

“For today, all our thoughts are with Rosamund and her family and we pay tribute to the exceptional legal team that has brought about today’s ground-breaking outcome.”


CAA_New Clean Air Act_First draft 011220


CAL 398 Ella Roberta_Warning the public about air pollution episodes_210421


1. Inquest



Philip Barlow, Deputy Coroner, requested legal submissions relating to his forthcoming Prevention of Future Deaths report by 4pm on Friday 15 January 2021.

2. Report to Prevent Future Deaths (20 April 2021)


3. Selected posts by Clean Air in London

What’s been wrong with death certificates?



4. Selected media coverage






5. Medical or health

Tweet by Dr Jonathan Grigg, medical expert during the Inquest (16 December 2020)

“Air pollution not only caused Ella’s asthma but also significantly contributed to triggering her attack – coroner’s conclusion – air pollution exposure added to death certificate”


6. The new Clean Air Act needs to be led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) not Defra

BEIS needs to decarbonise energy and buildings, is President of COP26 and the money!





7. Other links and resources

CAL 400 Response to Independent Human Rights Act Review 010321



Updated 4 May 2021

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