What’s going on here?

Last week a new bill entitled the “Clean Air (Human Rights) Act” had its first reading in the House of Lords. 

What does this mean?

This is the first step in enshrining in UK law the right to clean air across all forms of pollution. 

The law will be known as “Ella’s Law” after Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah (pictured), a nine year old girl who was the first person in the UK to have air pollution officially acknowledged as a factor in her death.

Why should we care?

Governments everywhere will argue they are taking action on air pollution but evidence quite clearly shows that this action is neither fast enough or far reaching enough. A study recently published in the journal ‘Lancet Planetary Health’ estimates 9 million people a year are dying as a result of pollution. This figure has increased 66% since 2000 and almost 75% of those deaths are attributed to air pollution.

Air pollution is also undeniably an issue of social justice. The poorest in society are often those most likely to be affected by air pollution, on a local and global level. The human and financial cost associated with this issue is huge.

The bill here in the UK gets its second reading later in June. Let’s hope it progresses swiftly into becoming law and that other countries will follow the UK’s lead on this issue.

Be curious

Support Clean Air Day on June 16th.

Get a free Air Quality report for your address here.

See the other posts on curious.earth relating to air pollution.

*Main image credit – The Ella Roberta Family Foundation

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