Mary Poppins Calls For #cleanairnow in Bristol and Nailsea

Mary Poppins scolds government as annual air pollution limits broken just five days into 2017 and calls for #cleanairnow

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On 6th January, as the UK broke 2017’s annual air pollution limits only 5 days into the year (3 days earlier than last year), childhood champion Mary Poppins was spotted soaring over Bristol and Nailsea in a pollution mask, calling on politicians to clean up the UK’s air to protect kids’ lungs.

Greenpeace is urging the government to end the sale of new diesel cars, most of which pump out between two to 15 times the legal limits, and push manufacturers to rapidly shift to hybrid and electric vehicles.

It’s shocking that it’s taken only 5 days to break the UK’s annual limit of air pollution. Despite growing concerns about the health impacts of diesel fumes, the government has done almost nothing to tackle car companies since they were caught cheating emissions tests. Unbelievably, the government is still incentivising consumers to buy brand new diesel cars that are pumping out illegal levels of pollution. If cars coming off the production line had dodgy brakes, you know the government would step in to sort it out. We urgently need to stop the sale of new diesel models until emission testing is truly fit for purpose. Better still, we need car companies to phase out diesel completely and concentrate on hybrid and electric alternatives. We need #cleanairnow.”

Under EU rules, any single location in the UK is only allowed to breach hourly limits of 200 micrograms of NO2 per cubic metre of air 18 times in a year, but late last night Brixton Road in London broke that limit for the 19th time. That breach means the UK has already violated 2017’s annual air pollution limits just 5 days into the year.

In the past few months, doctors, health professionals and campaigners, have all spoken out about the devastating impact of air pollution on human health, especially children’s.

Air pollution can cause asthma in otherwise healthy children, stunts children’s lung growth permanently by up to 10%, and is linked to strokes, heart disease and diabetes in older people.

In November 2016, the High Court ruled for the second time in 18 months that the government is not doing enough to combat the air pollution crisis. The judge also said ministers knew that over-optimistic pollution modelling was being used, based on flawed lab tests of diesel vehicles rather than actual emissions on the road. The government must now look again at proposals to bring pollution levels down to legal levels.

Many thanks to Richard B, Fi and Richard L for organising the photos. 

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