Edinburgh is expected to miss its European Union emissions target.Instead, the city is expected to reach the target in 2020 – five years later than hoped.
City councillors yesterday discussed a proposal to do more to tackle air pollution in the city, as Friends of the Earth claimed the dangerous levels were “causing more than 200” deaths in Edinburgh.
Councillor Lesley Hinds warned Green councillor Chas Booth against using “emotive language” when he supported the tougher proposal and reinforced the number of deaths due to air pollution.
A report to the Transport and Environment Committee said Edinburgh would not meet the EU emission limits until about 2020, but councillors said the Scottish Government had confirmed it would not pass on any air quality fines for failing to meet targets.
Friends of the Earth proposed establishing low emissions zones in the city, an approach already adopted in other European cities including London.
Councillors praised Lothian Buses’ efforts to decrease its contribution to air pollution by introducing Euro 5 standard vehicles and voted out the Green amendment for more robust action on air pollution in Edinburgh.
The council did, however, extend the city centre air quality management area to include part of South Bridge and Nicholson Street and at Angle Park Terrance and Slateford Road as these areas in parts have exceeded national standards.
This means council staff will monitor these areas more closely and take action to improve air quality.
The council will also consult the Scottish Government, SEPA and DEFRA on the data they gather to see how they can work together to reduce emissions in the city.
Read the full report on the City of Edinburgh Council website.