As it stands, the UK will not comply with the legal limits set out in the Climate Change Act for air quality until 2025, and not until 2030 in London. In recognition of the need to mobilise the public and industry to take action, National Clean Air Day on 15 June offers the perfect opportunity to work together to clean up air quality in the UK.
The air quality issue has risen to the top of the agenda in recent months, and rightly so. Breathing in high levels of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions and particulate matter (PM) has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s and chronic heart and lung disease making the current quality of our air a pressing threat to public health.
With the lack of a clear plan from the government to improve air quality in the UK, it is time to rethink our approach to tackling this problem. But with the onus on local authorities and fleet owners to upgrade vehicles, invest in new technologies and introduce Clean Air Zones, more needs to be done to offer practical support.
The construction and haulage industries in particular have found themselves under pressure due to their reliance on diesel-powered machinery and vehicles. We’re all aware of the impact that heavy use of diesel has on the environment, but the reality is that we can’t just switch off our reliance on diesel overnight, especially for businesses whose fleets and machinery rely on it to keep moving.
Instead, at least in the short to medium term, we need to consider solutions that won’t require huge levels of investment or cause activity to grind to a temporary halt. Making smarter fuel choices is a practical and proven way to help improve air quality with immediate effect.
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