Wednesday 22 September 2021 / 2:00 PM Daniel Zeichner / Environment

Labour responds to WHO clean air announcement

Today, the World Health Organisation have announced new substantially stricter clean air standards. The WHO’s new Global Air Quality Guidelines aim to save millions of lives from air pollution and are calling for clean air to be a fundamental human right.

Labour’s Clean Air Act would establish a legal right for citizens to breathe clean air, abiding by WHO clean air guidelines and keeping pace as scientific understanding develops further. The new Act would place tough new duties on Ministers to ensure air quality guidelines are met, bringing in real accountability for the Government following multiple court defeats in recent years.

Daniel Zeichner MP, Labour’s acting Shadow Environment Secretary, commenting on the WHO announcement, said:

“Inaction and delay from the Conservatives has allowed catastrophic levels of air pollution to build up across the country, with toxic air estimated to cause around 40,000 premature deaths a year. 

“In Government, Labour would introduce a new Clean Air Act to protect our environment, help decarbonise the economy and ensure we all have safe air to breathe.”

“This is a health emergency for children across the country. Ministers must accept their defeat in the House of Lords vote on the Environment Bill or we will see this country fall even further behind the World Health Organisation clean air standards.”