Christine Jardine MP pushes for a fresh approach to clean air

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has called on the Government to improve the UK’s clean air targets.

By Kevin Quinn
Friday, 24th December 2021, 5:00 am
Liberal Democrats MP Christine Jardine.
Liberal Democrats MP Christine Jardine.

She put the case directly to the Government at a meeting with Minister Jo Churchill.

The UK Government will now be consulting on PM2.5 targets with plans being laid before Parliament next year.

Ms Jardine has also called for Edinburgh City Council to introduce air quality meters to their Refuse Collection Vehicle fleet to monitor the quality of air on a street-by-street basis.

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The Liberal Democrat currently has a Private Members’ Bill which would commit the UK to World Health Organization targets on clean air.

Following the meeting she said: “There are few things more important to our general health than the air that we breathe. That is why I have been pressing the Government to back my private members’ bill and tighten its national clean air guidelines in its upcoming consultation.

“Alongside this, I have taken steps here in my constituency of Edinburgh West to get a grip of the problems in Edinburgh West, particularly the problems along both St John’s Road and Queensferry Road.

“These air meters can play a vital role in identifying which areas need urgent action in the short term. I hope the council considers this and takes it forward.

“The coronavirus pandemic has made us all more aware of the benefits of fresh and clean air. I will keep pushing for commitments on both a national and local level so we can all breathe a little easier.”

Meanwhile, Ms Jardine has also called for urgent action to ensure that developing countries get the vaccine doses that they need.

The global Covax programme is likely to miss its end of year target by almost 500 million and the UK Government are tens of millions doses short of their pledge. Now the Lib Dem MP is calling for concerted action.

She said: “Helping those in poorer countries access the Covid-19 vaccine is not only the morally right thing to do but, as the Omicron variant shows, this remains a global pandemic. The growth of new variants on the other side of the globe threatens Britain’s public health.

“The Government need to act now and dramatically increase funding for Covax, support lifting the patents on vaccines and deliver on the pledges already made.”