A new Clean Air Bill has been presented in parliament to give people the right to Clean Air and drastically reduce the illegally high levels of pollution in south Wales.
The levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, largely produced by diesel vehicles, is almost double the legal limit in South Wales.
In addition, the PM.25 limits in Swansea was found to have 13 micrograms of PM2.5 air pollution per cubic metre, which is beyond the guideline set by global organisations. It matches the levels in cities nearly 40 times its size.
Geraint Davies, Swansea West MP who presented the Clean Air Bill today, said: “In Swansea we pride ourselves on having clean sea air but actually we have illegal levels of air pollution here that can cause major health problems, which is why we want to make sure we follow WHO guidelines and give people the right to clean and empower them to make sure that politicians deliver through a new Clean Air Act.
“Illegal and dangerous levels of pollution are a reality in four in five urban areas in the UK which is causing 64,000 people to die prematurely each year at a cost of £20 billion. This is a matter of public health, which is why I have published my Bill ahead of the Queen’s speech and hope it can become official government policy.”
The new Bill builds on his previous version of the Bill, which was supported by 120 MPs, brings forward the ban of sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2042 to 2030, requires pollution monitors in every postcode, bans idling outside of schools and requires indoor air quality to be included – that the Government has excluded from its Environment Bill – in enforceable targets.
Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Swansea West, added: “The New Clean Air Act has the support of MPs from all parties, working for people in all parts of the UK and our video broadcasts that fact
“The UK has been taken to the High Court many times for failing to meet EU air quality standards and is in danger of becoming the coughing man of Europe, by breaching air pollution limits in more than 40 cities across the UK.
The new Bill seeks to:
• Establish the Right to Clean Air in the UK for all citizens
• Adopt World Health Organisation pollution targets for both outdoor and indoor air quality
• Commit to a strategy to provide sustainable public, private and commercial transport by road, rail, air and sea
• Establish an independent National Air Quality Agency to enforce targets,
• Prohibit the sale of new petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles from no later than 2030;
• Make it an offence to remove permanently devices that reduce vehicle emissions.
MPs have been asked to take photos and sign pledged under the campaign #Act4CleanAir led by the All-Party Group on Air Pollution on Wednesday.
The Bill can be read in full here.