Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/962/26124
The Socialist 13 September 2017 |
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Tories 'flouting duty' on poison air, says UN
Air pollution cuts short tens of thousands of lives each year in Britain (Click to enlarge)
"The UK government continues to flout its duty to ensure adequate air quality and protect the rights to life and health of its citizens," says the United Nations.
The UN's 'special rapporteur' condemned the Tories for doing nothing to tackle toxic air.
Air pollution contributes to about 40,000 premature deaths a year, the Royal College of Physicians reckons. In the capital alone, long-term exposure chalks up over 9,400 a year, according to King's College London.
And every year, parts of London break European Union limits on annual hours of heavy pollution - in days. The EU takes no action.
Parliament's environmental audit committee has warned Brexit could make EU eco-regulation into "zombie legislation" with no effect. So what was it before?
The EU and Single Market won't clean our air for the same reason the Tories won't. Their reason for being is to defend private ownership and market competition.
Public ownership of energy and transport is fundamental if we're to sort this out. Only a democratic, socialist plan of production can guarantee the investment and compliance needed save our cities from suffocation.