Our special adviser on air quality responds to a report by CBI Economic's report Breathing Life into the UK Economy, commissioned by the Clean Air Fund.
CBI Economic's report Breathing Life into the UK Economy, commissioned by the Clean Air Fund, has found that reaching World Health Organization (WHO) air quality targets could boost the UK economy by £1.6bn annually.
In response to the report, Professor Stephen Holgate, Royal College of Physicians' special adviser on air quality said: “We fully welcome today’s report and wholeheartedly support the call for government to make a legally binding commitment to meet World Health Organization (WHO) guideline levels for particulate matter pollution by 2030.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought environmental issues into sharper focus. The changes we’ve all had to make in response to the virus have helped us develop healthy habits that have cleaned our air, lowered our emissions and kept people safe.
“The NHS has embraced new ways of working, including conducting remote digital consultations instead of face-to-face ones, which in turn has significantly lowered the amount of NHS-related traffic on our roads.
“There is a new normal unfolding, and it is crucial that we avoid returning to the health-damaging levels of air pollution we had before lockdown. We hope today’s recommendations are reflected in the Environment Bill without further delay.”