Council taking action to tackle air quality and climate change

Tower Hamlets Council will be doing its bit to tackle climate change and the negative impact of air pollution on our residents.

Last night the council’s Cabinet agreed a new Air Quality and Climate Change Strategy.

This 5-year plan sets out the council’s vision of how it can tackle air pollution and climate change locally.

A key aim is to reduce concentrations of pollution as well as exposure to pollution. Air pollution in London is a public health crisis. Currently over 9,000 Londoners die prematurely each year as a result of long-term exposure to air pollution - while 438 schools in the capital are in areas exceeding legal air quality levels – 37 of which are primary schools in Tower Hamlets.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:

“I am aware of the challenge ahead. This isn’t something the council can put right on our own but we have an important role to play. I am committed to reducing air pollution in our borough. Our strategy calls for a cleaner, greener, more sustainable Tower Hamlets.

I also support the ambitious policies on air quality and climate change that have been set out in the Mayor of London’s strategy and look forward to working closely with the GLA to implement these policies.”

Cllr Rachel Blake – Lead member for Strategic Development, Waste and Air Quality said:

“The quality of London’s air is dangerously – and illegally – poor. We know high levels of damaging pollutants harm our residents as their health and quality of life are compromised. We hope our strategy will start to address these issues so we can protect the health of our residents.”

Cllr Amina Ali – Lead member for Environment said:

“Climate change affects everyone so we all need to play a part in helping to tackle it. By thinking about how we live, work and play, and making simple changes to our behaviours to reduce energy consumption. We know that 63% of the borough’s emissions come from the commercial sector so housing and local transport are an important factor. Greenhouse emissions are falling but we are still one of the highest emitters of carbon dioxide in London. We need to act quickly.”

Earlier this year the council consulted on an Air Quality Action Plan which has been approved by the Greater London Authority, and sets out in detail how the council will reduce pollution locally, including encouraging the use of low-emission vehicles and renewable sources of energy.

The Air Quality Action Plan also sets out the council’s plans to promote cleaner transport including installing electrical vehicle charge points, discouraging unnecessary pollution from idling vehicles, and ensuring new housing developments do not increase air pollution as well as raising awareness through public health campaigns.

The council supports the Mayor of London and the priority he has given to tackling air pollution and the commitment to improve the environment for all Londoners.

For more information please see our Air Quality and Climate Change strategy.

 

 

Posted on Thursday 2nd November 2017