Scotland’s leading environmental campaign organisation reacted to the news that the European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for its failure to cut excessive levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, a toxic gas.
Friends of the Earth Scotland Air Pollution campaigner, Emilia Hanna, said:
“People are literally dying in Glasgow from lung and heart problems linked to exposure to air pollution. For too long, the UK government has got away with breaking European legal limits on air pollution which are designed to protect us from this silent killer.
“Yesterday’s announcement from Europe confirms that the UK government has no plan for how to clean up Glasgow’s air. This should send a strong message to the people of Glasgow that they deserve better.
“The Scottish Government now needs to step up. It must introduce a national strategy for clean air which commits to a date by when Scotland’s air will be clean.
“Glasgow’s air pollution is mainly caused by traffic congestion, with motor vehicles spewing out toxic and cancer-causing chemicals. That’s why we need Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to make better provision for walking and cycling, clean up public transport, and put restrictions on the most polluting vehicles through ultra low emissions zones.
“As host of this year’s Commonwealth Games, Glasgow needs to be seen as an example of a healthy and vibrant city where people can breathe clean air, but there is a long way to go.”