London’s toxic air ‘has already caused over 1,300 premature deaths this year’

More than 1,300 Londoners have already died prematurely due to toxic air so far this year, campaigners warned today.

The shocking death toll includes over 60 estimated fatalities linked to “killer” pollution in Barnet, Croydon and Bromley, and more than 50 in Ealing, Enfield and Havering.

In Wandsworth, Lambeth, Brent, Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Hillingdon, Redbridge and Waltham Forest it was at least 40.

Shadow environment minister Barry Gardiner said: “So far this year 1,337 people have already died as result of air pollution yet the mayor’s proposals will not bring this down to safe levels until 2030.

“We need a new national framework of low and ultra-low emissions zones within which London must roll out the electrification of buses and the highest vehicle standards for all new fleet vehicles within four years. We need decisive action now to protect our children not vague promises for 15 years down the line.”

The figures, published by campaign group Clean Air in London on its CleanAir in Cities app, highlight the power of technology to shed light on the impact of air pollution, and put pressure on City Hall, the Government, businesses and individuals to take action to tackle it.

Scientists have put the death toll in the UK linked to particulate pollution, heavily blamed on diesel engines, at around 29,000 a year, including around 3,400 in London.

But this does not take account of the lethal effects of nitrogen dioxide, with many blackspots from this pollutant in the capital.

Clean Air in London has estimated that 7,500 people a year in the capital are dying early due to NO2 and particulate pollution, and around 55,000 across the UK.

London has dozens of the country’s worst pollution blackspots.

City Hall has stressed that Mayor of London Boris Johnson has delivered “some of the most ambitious and comprehensive measures in the world to help improve air quality,” including taking the most polluting buses and taxis off the road, and a proposed ultra low emission zone by 2020.

“This work has helped halve the number of Londoners living in areas above nitrogen dioxide limits, brought nitrogen oxide emissions down by 20 per cent and emissions of particulate matter down by 15 per cent,” it added.

“Notwithstanding this progress, the Mayor recognises more needs to be done which is why he has recently confirmed proposals for the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone.”

But MPs will debate London’s filthy air in the Commons next week amid growing concerns over its deadly impact.

Lord Deben, chairman of Britain’s committee on climate change, has emphasised that air quality could be significantly improved in the capital if already available technologies were used to clean up transport and other sectors.

Matthew Pencharz, the mayor’s senior adviser on energy and the environment, said: “The Ultra Low Emission Zone confirmed by the mayor will halve emissions of Nitrogen Oxide, will mean 80 per cent of central London meets legal limits for air pollution, and builds on the most comprehensive and ambitious package of measures to tackle air pollution anywhere in the world, which are being implemented right here, right now.

“The mayor set out last year how we could ensure all London meets legal limits by 2020 – but only with support from Government and Europe‎.’

via London’s toxic air ‘has already caused over 1,300 premature deaths this year’ – London – News – London Evening Standard.

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