Clean air to breathe is a basic right
Natalie has been campaigning with Sheffield Green Party on the Let Sheffield Breathe campaign, calling for a plan to tackle the issue in the city. The council established a plan to tackle it in 2012, but it lapsed, having failed to meet its targets, in 2015.
The Royal College of Physicians says air pollution is associated with 40,000 early deaths each year and the costs to the health service and society are more than £20 billion.
The Green Party is calling for a Clean Air Act to enshrine the right to breathable air for all. To deliver this it is calling for a strengthened network of Clean Air Zones across the country, more funding for local authorities to invest in walking cycling and clean public transport, with the aim of getting the whole country below the legal maximum nitrogen dioxide levels by the end of 2018.
Air pollution is an equality issue as well as a health issue. It is the poorest areas of cities, including Sheffield, that tend to suffer from the worst aid pollution. But none of us can escape it. We will all benefit from cleaning up our air.