Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Air quality action plan 'lukewarm and lacklustre'

Monitoring air pollution in Streatham
It's a week since air quality monitors went up in streets around Streatham - with several Green party members volunteering to measure nitrogen dioxide levels over the next six months.

The Lambeth-wide project, run by UCL's Mapping for Change, involves replacing nitrogen diffusion tubes every month - and sending them off for analysis of nitogen dioxide in the air.

Air pollution in London currently causes neearly 10,000 deaths each year and frequently breaks EU legal limits.

Lambeth Council is currently consulting on how to reduce air pollution in the borough. But its draft air pollution action plan has been criticised as "lukewarm and lacklustre" by Streatham's Green councillor, Scott Ainslie.

Scott said: “So far these plans show a lack of imagination and ambition when it comes to environmental issues. This is one of the most polluted boroughs in London, in dire need of strong, serious solutions that will actually make a difference and save lives. The proposals contained within the action plan are lukewarm, lacklustre and fall a long way short."

Scott highlighted key steps Lambeth should take in order to take air pollution seriously: 

  • Stop investing in diesel vehicles and favour low emission technologies (hybrid or electric). It seems paradoxical to request the expansion of the ULEZ or to welcome the introduction of clean buses on the A23 routes while planning to continue to buy and use Diesel engines.
  • Build on the experience of Brixton Energy, a social enterprise which installed solar panels on three housing estates. The fact that the terms “solar” or “renewable” don’t appear once in the plan document is staggering.
  • Stop incinerating its waste - causing more air pollution for the whole of south London
Scott said: "The council needs to take full responsibility for its actions and demonstrate real leadership. By outsourcing the incineration of waste, Lambeth brushes under the carpet the true environmental impact of behaviours that occur within its borders, which is why it doesn’t even get a mention.

"While Labour waffles and pays lip service to the major problems of our time, The Green Party is the only one with the necessary experience, understanding and will to truly solve them.”

See Lambeth Green Party's full response to the consultation

Read the proposals and have your say by 15th November deadline

Read more about air quality monitoring 

1 comment:

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