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Green Party unveil air quality commitments

The Green Party yesterday announced that they were committed to introducing a Clean Air Act, which would set tougher air quality standards for the UK and enshrine the right to breathe clean air in law.

They have also announced specific policies intended to improve air quality such as a £2.5 billion a year investment in new cycleways and footpaths and providing local authorities with funding to allow them to provide the local bus services.

They would also ban the sale of new ICE cars by  2027 and ban all such vehicles from the road by 2035. An extensive vehicle scrappage scheme would be introduced to facilitate this.

Carla Denyer with Zak Polanski

Speaking on Clean air Day, c0-leader of the party, Carla Denyer said: ‘Toxic air affects many communities in towns and cities across the country. It’s high time we cleaned up our act. That’s why Green MPs will take our manifesto commitment to a Clean Air Act and push the next Labour government to give everyone the legal right to breathe clean air.

‘Green policies are a breath of fresh air. We propose a series of sensible and achievable policies.

‘Creating safe routes for walking, wheeling and cycling will encourage many more people to use active travel, especially children, so that these become healthy lifetime habits.

‘Frequent, reliable, affordable and electrified buses also have a huge role to play in offering a viable alternative to the car. Not only will this clean up our air, it will be good for the economy. Every £1 invested in bus services is estimated to bring an economic return of £4.50. Greens also want to see free bus travel for under-18s.

‘We also need to tackle the main cause of the air pollution in our towns and cities. Which is why Greens want to see an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2027 and the introduction of an extensive vehicle scrappage scheme to help people make the switch to cleaner vehicles.

‘Air pollution is linked to 43,000 deaths per year in the UK.  The World Health Organization recognises it’s the largest environmental threat to our health. On Clean Air Day we owe it to the many communities blighted by toxic air to fix this problem.

‘Greens offer these communities real hope and real change and Green MPs will work hard for a Clean Air Act in the next parliament.’

 

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.

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