Lambeth council has written to the government to express concern that the Brexit process will â€œhamper efforts to combat air pollutionâ€.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove sent on Friday (22 September), the councilâ€™s cabinet member for environment and housing, Councillor Jennifer Braithwaite, has called for a commitment to â€˜bold actionâ€™ to tackle air pollution without pressure from the EU.
The councillor has called forÂ assurance that the UK will not â€œdiscard or water downâ€ EU air quality standards following Brexit, and that the UK will continue to work with other European nations to tackle the issue.
In her letter to the Secretary of State, Cllr Brathwaite said: â€œAs current standards on air quality are determined by EU legislation, there is a strong fear that leaving the EU will lead to the dilution of strict air quality standards to suit short-term economic and political pressures.
â€œThe current cohesive working on research and mitigation across nations is also at risk, with the UK limited in its access and influence over European policy makers.â€
She added: â€œThe UK struggles to meet current EU standards and this government has failed to prove itself in its ambition to improve air quality levels. It is essential that Brexit is not used as a tool to ignore current standards and there must be a commitment to not only work to meet current standards but also seek to extend them with other European countries.
â€œIn his draft Environment Strategy recently released for consultation, the Mayor of London has committed to the capital meeting World Health Organisation guidelines for PM2.5 by 2030, which is an annual mean of 10Âµg/m3. The EU objective for PM2.5 is 25 Âµg/m3, and I would encourage similar ambitious thinking by central government.â€