In response to Chief Medical Officer, Sir Chris Whitty’s Annual Report on Air Pollution, Mayor Philip Glanville, London Councils Executive Lead for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said:
“London’s toxic air is a public health challenge that boroughs are determined to tackle by reducing pollution and carbon emissions.
“Today’s annual air quality report from the Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty shows the impact of positive initiatives to reduce air pollution but also highlights there is a long way to go.
“London Councils and London boroughs are doing a vast amount of work, including through our climate programmes. This includes prioritising low carbon transport, by aiming to halve road journeys made by petrol and diesel through restricting polluting journeys and encouraging people to use active travel options. We are also working on low carbon development, which seeks to increase low carbon buildings and infrastructure through borough planning powers.
“Boroughs are also securing greater green investment to support skills and green jobs that will empower local areas to innovate, decarbonise and deliver cleaner air for all Londoners. Alongside this, we are confronting carbon emissions from motor vehicles through extensive investment in London’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure and active travel projects.
“However, even with all these initiatives to reduce carbon emissions across the capital, and even though today’s report from the CMO shows that London’s air pollution is decreasing, it currently won’t be enough to completely sort out London’s air quality challenge.
“Communities with higher levels of deprivation are more likely to be exposed to greater levels of air pollution. The necessity of a just transition across London’s diverse communities that protects disadvantaged groups and those vulnerable to the impacts of climate change cannot be overstated.
“We must bring everyone with us on the path to Net Zero and the benefits better air quality brings. Only through a collaborative, sustainable and fair approach, which involves greater levels of investment and energy than ever before, can we create a capital city that looks after the health of all our residents, beginning with the air we all breathe.”