One-third of children living in Britain – about 4.5 million children – live in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution, according to a UNICEF report released today.
The British government announced last month its plans to tackle air pollution following the European Commission’s decision to refer Britain and five other EU member states to the European Court of Justice for breaching the air pollution limits.
UNICEF has announced that the measures taken by London to tackle the problem are inadequate and called for more funding for further measures to reduce pollution in the most affected areas. “According to the government’s plans for air quality, dangerous levels of air pollution in about 71% of cities in the UK are likely to remain for another 12 years,” the report notes.
A separate report by the Global Action Plan, also released today, found that children are 30% more exposed than adults to dangerous levels of air pollution from vehicles on busy roads due to their lower height. British Environment Minister Michael Gow said the Global Action Plan report is worrying and shows why the government needs to take stringent measures to improve air quality.
As stated in a statement, “our new Clean Air Strategy sets out how we will be the first major developed economy to reduce air pollution to meet the limits set by the World Health Organization ) and have invested 3.6 billion pounds ($ 4.6 billion) to reduce emissions of harmful gases “.