Despite representing one of the greatest threats to public health, responsible for up to 43,000 deaths in the UK each year, efforts to reduce England’s air pollution have proven either politically fraught, ineffective or failed to consider the needs of those from deprived areas.
These latest proposed changes should not be seen as a retrograde step or a desire to weaken the Habitat Regulations, but seen as a pragmatic and ecologically sound approach to the current impasse.
The fact remains that the broad thrust of climate policy enjoys strong support from voters. YouGov polling shows that ULEZ is a rare example of an unpopular environmental measure.
Most of us can get used to dysfunction in the busy and familiar setting of our day-to-day lives. But a change of scene offers a different perspective.
We need to make sure farmers, developers, and water companies are all doing their bit to crack down on pollution and stop overstretching our infrastructure.
But without a clear green direction of travel across all these policies, there could be negative political consequences
Tory candidates in London, Manchester and Oxfordshire made their opposition to these schemes known. It didn’t win us votes.
Power, provided for by the new post-Brexit Fisheries Act 2020, would allow us to outlaw the most destructive fishing vessels from our protected areas.
If the Government does not communicate what is involved on its own terms, and soon, it risks inspiring a new political insurgency.
If China reduced only its coal consumption by half, that would be the equivalent of the whole European Union, including the UK, going carbon neutral.
Post-Brexit Britain should introduce ambitious limits and policies to be a global leader on clean air.
It’s easy to pledge nice-sounding achievements in the far future, but irresponsible not to explain the costs now.
The Shadow Local Government Secretary won’t say if a Labour council in Cumbria was right or wrong to give approval to such a development.