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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 November 2016

Court slams Tory air quality plans

Only socialist planning can stop toxic air

Air pollution kills tens of thousands every year in the UK, photo Simone Ramella (Creative Commons)

Air pollution kills tens of thousands every year in the UK, photo Simone Ramella (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Simon Carter, East London Socialist Party

It's supposed to be safe but it kills more people than obesity or alcohol - the air we breathe.

Second only to smoking in its harmful effects, particulates (soot) and nitrogen dioxide - emitted largely by diesel vehicles - kill 30,000 and 10,000 people respectively in the UK every year.

Yet the government is doing nothing to curb this invisible killer. Recently a green campaign group won a court judgement which said the environment secretary's 'Air Quality Plan' for cleaner air in the UK by 2020 (2025 in London) was flawed.

This followed a ruling won by ClientEarth in 2015, in which Supreme Court justices said "immediate" action was needed to address harmful air pollution.

Theresa May and her ministers accepted the judgement, but that doesn't mean any progress on improving air quality. The Tories' decision to press for a third runway at Heathrow will only worsen air pollution in London and the south east.

The car industry is equally guilty. Data on emissions from 'cleaner' exhaust systems were recently found to have been falsified by the likes of manufacturer VW.

The only realistic way of reducing air pollution is to drastically reduce road vehicle traffic. But without a massively expanded, cheap, safe, and fully integrated public transport system alternative, then people have little option but to continue to drive their cars.

To clean up the environment requires huge investment in green technology and transport systems. This is something that capitalists, motivated by the pursuit of profit, aren't prepared to make.

We have to fight instead for a workers' government that would introduce environmentally friendly socialist measures, as part of a democratically decided economic plan.

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In The Socialist 9 November 2016:


High Court Brexit bombshell

Bosses' government, bosses' EU...fight for socialism

High Court bombshell on Brexit decision


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the 54,000 yearly maternity sackings

Build housing for the kids without homes this Xmas

Unions must act on pay restraint!

Court slams Tory air quality plans

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Build the education fightback

Read the Socialist

Over a thousand march to fight museums and libraries cuts

Library cuts: working class kids suffer most

Momentum left meeting excludes socialists

New Socialist Party pamphlet: Fight racism, fight for socialism

Far-right given short shrift in Darlington

Obituary: Hilary Mooney 1945-2016


Socialist Party workplace news

Action needed to defend workers at the sharp end of prisons crisis

Courts and tribunal services face huge cuts

Newcastle council cuts: opportunity for trade union fightback

Birmingham's Labour council freezes workers' pay

Hackney Picturehouse strike


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: Erdogan tightens repressive screw

Ireland: Gardai strike threat

South Africa: State victimises #OutsourcingMustFall activists


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Horror of health-wrecking toil for Polish migrants

HyperNormalisation: Arbitrary selection of ideas to confirm feelings of powerlessness

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