The Chairman to be heard.
The Committee received a report of the Director ofMarkets and Consumer Protection concerning the Ella Adoo Kissi-Debrah Inquest and Prevention of Future Deaths Report.
The Chairman read out the following statement:
The recently published Prevention of Future Deaths Report, following the inquest into the tragic death of Ella Adoo Kissi-Debrah, serves as a stark reminder of the terrible health impact that air pollution can have.
In December last year, a Coroner ruled that Ella had died of asthma, with exposure to excessive air pollution being a contributory factor. This is the first time that air pollution has been explicitly linked to a named individual’s death. Our thoughts are very much with Ella’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.
This tragedy underlines, in very human terms, the urgency with which governments, local authorities, businesses - all of us - must act to drastically improve air quality. Air pollution is a public health crisis here in the capital, with an estimated 4,000 Londoners dying prematurely from long-term exposure every year.
We have been taking a number of bold and practical actions to improve air quality in the Square Mile and wider London. But there is still much work to do.
Through our Air Quality Strategy, we are committed to meeting World Health Organisation guidelines for nitrogen dioxide. And, as most of the health impacts are associated with small particles, we continue to work with a wide range of organisations to ensure this pollutant is below the W.H.O. guidelines by 2030.
Our extensive network of monitors show that air quality in the City is improving. We will maintain our efforts, seizing new opportunities through our Climate Action Strategy, and COP26, and through our Emissions Reduction Bill, which with London Councils aims to give the capital’s local authorities tough new powers to tackle air pollution caused by boilers, construction machinery and diesel generators.
And we will continue to raise community awareness around air pollution and how to reduce exposure.
Nobody should have to breathe dirty air and with our partners we will continue to work tirelessly to eliminate it.
At the request of a Member, the Town Clerk agreed to share the details of the e-newsletter and smart phone App with Members detailed in the report.
A Member noted the impact of COVID and the significant reduction of air pollution enquiring if there was any insight on where the pollution is coming and how tackle it long-term. Members were advised that a lot of pollution within the City was due to vehicles and reductions were seen due to low vehicle use in the last year. A small portion also came from combustion dust, sea salt and agriculture particulates. Joint work to tackle air pollution continued in collaboration with others.
The Chairman noted that the Environment Bill was being heavily debated and would go to the committee stage shortly. The City Corporation would engage to make amendments to the debate and bring change.
A Member felt that the City should invest and partner in renewable investments moving from fuel vehicles to renewable, including electric vehicle charging, not just for the good of the environment but also for making a return. The Chairman agreed to pick this up with the Climate Action team.