UK100, a network of local government leaders (pictured above), has co-hosted the International Clean Air Summit to get commitments to a Clean Air Declaration.
The declaration has so far been signed by 15 cities and six businesses which have committed to prioritise ambitious action that tackles air pollution.
The Summit was part of the Clean Air Conference on October 23 at City Hall and also featured the Mayor of London, the World Health Organisation and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
UK100 members were able to showcase the role of local leadership in combating air pollution and call upon the Government to provide the funding and resources to enable further action to clean up air, specifically to meet World Health Organisation standards.
The Clean Air Declaration proposes four key priorities for government to take forward to eliminate air pollution:
- Require, and provide necessary resources for, the meeting of world leading World Health Organization air pollution standards, as a minimum, in the Environment Bill that will eliminate pollution from controllable sources.
- Establish a programme that provides financial support for the poorest in society and for small businesses to switch to cleaner vehicles, shared transport or active travel via schemes such as mobility credits, and also includes a £1.5bn Fleet Renewal Programme, stimulating the market to deliver cleaner vehicles, including heavy freight, municipal vehicles and for retrofit solutions.
- Grant Local Authorities and Mayors the powers and funding they need to deliver zero emission transport networks, encourage and enable behaviour change, including the promotion of active travel, and tackle non-road transport sources of pollution including: public transport, infrastructure, construction, planning and enforcement.
- Create certainty for business and local government by setting out an ambitious roadmap to 2030 as part of a strengthened UK Government Clean Air Strategy that empowers business, local authorities and public bodies to collaborate with confidence and put in place the necessary actions needed for clean air.
Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: "We're bringing together businesses, political leaders and health experts to agree a plan to tackle air pollution. Our summit will last for one day - but in that time our toxic air will have contributed to another 100 people dying across the UK. That should focus all our minds."
The Clean Air Summit also launched Sadiq Khan's plans to offer £25 million in funding to a "scrap for cash" scrappage scheme for low-income and disabled Londoners.
The scrappage scheme aims to help Londoners on low incomes or with disabilities, ahead of the Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion in 2021 up to the North and South Circular roads. The scheme will run alongside the existing £23m fund for micro businesses, sole traders and charity owners who want to scrap older vans.
Motorists can apply for £1,000 for scrapping a motorcycle or moped and £2,000 for scrapping a car.
An in-depth review of the Clean Air Summit discussions, including comments from city mayors and councillors, will be published in the November 28 issue of Fleet News.