Environment Bill delay is 'real blow' - say UK's leading lung charities

Responding to the news that the Environment Bill is to be delayed by at least six months, Sarah Woolnough, Chief Executive of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said:

“It is a real blow that the Environment Bill has been delayed yet again. While it is understandable the government is focusing on dealing with the pandemic in these unprecedented times, air pollution is a national health crisis too that isn’t going away and must not be pushed aside.

“Toxic air contributes to 36,000 premature deaths every year and blights the lives of the millions of people in the UK with lung conditions such as asthma and COPD. It can leave them struggling to breathe and can cause potentially life-threatening attacks and flare-ups.

“The devastating impact of Covid-19 has shown the importance of having healthy lungs. We urge the government to use this delay to scale up the ambition in the bill and set out world-leading health targets on air pollution, in line with World Health Organization guidelines, and for these to be met by 2030 at the latest.”