The APPG for Air Pollution has put together proposals to reduce coronavirus by improving air quality, and is urging the Government to act on them.
The cross-party group works with scientists, local authorities, politicians, organisations and businesses to promote measures to tackle poor air quality.
In June, the APPG published the ‘Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus,’ a report which comprises twelve sets of science-based, holistic, inclusive and realistic proposals to ensure a clean air trajectory out of the coronavirus lockdown. They encompass: working, cycling and pedestrianisation, public transport, private transport, face masks, wood and coal burning, agriculture, home delivery services, indoor air quality, sustainable industry, and data collection and research.
Research which informed the report suggested that COVID-19 death rates, and the likelihood of infection, are both directly related to air pollution.
The APPG found that:
59% of people noticed an improvement in air quality since lockdown
62% of people want the government and local authorities to tackle air pollution more urgently than before the outbreak of coronavirus
85% want businesses to do more to cut air pollution so that levels don’t go back to the way they were: working from home (47%), flexible working hours (46&), more electric cars/vans used for delivering goods (42%), improve air quality in the workplace (33%).
We know that Air quality is linked to more than 60,000 early deaths in the UK every year, and globally causes 1 in 9 of all deaths. Coronavirus has provided an opportunity to further analyse the affects of air pollution and made the need to tackle it even more urgent.
Grahame Morris MP said, “It is more vital than ever that the Government works to tackle poor air quality, as evidence continues to emerge about the link between Covid-19 infection and poor air quality. Changes in the way people work and travel are providing the much-needed circumstances for real change to be implemented, and it is vital that the Government capitalise on this.”