I am proud to support the Clean Air Parents’ Network, in which parents and carers are campaigning to protect children and babies from dirty air.
The Clean Air Parents’ Network launched their new campaign in Parliament on 24 October, calling for a Clean Air for Children Programme, which would introduce a range of emergency measures to protect children and babies’ lungs from illegal and harmful levels of air pollution where they learn and where they play.
The Clean Air for Children Programme sets out a clear plan that ensures local action, with the support of central government, to address air pollution and protect children and babies from its harmful effects.
All children should have the best start in life, and the air they breathe should not stunt the growth of their lungs or contribute to them developing future illnesses such as asthma and lung cancer. Yet despite this, children across the UK are exposed to dirty air every day, and thousands of schools, nurseries and playgrounds are located near roads with illegal and harmful levels of air pollution.
Children living in the most deprived areas are four times more likely to have underdeveloped lungs, whilst for the one in 11 children in the UK who have asthma, air pollution is not a distant threat but an immediate risk to their health and wellbeing.
I am pleased to give my support to the Clean Air for Children Programme, as I believe all children deserve clean air, and I want to see a future where children’s health is not compromised by the quality of the air they breathe in the place where they live.
This Programme also echoes our national clean air campaign at the Green Party, Breathing Cities, which is calling for streets to be clean, healthy and safe, in particular around schools, and where people live. To make sure all our cities become cities we can breathe in, the campaign also has a petition calling on government to introduce a new Clean Air Act that establishes our right to breathe clean air. I look forward to both these campaigns working together in the fight for a breath of fresh air!