City MP Stephen Morgan has backed UNICEF’s Healthy Air for Every Child Campaign, that highlights the effects of a poor environment on the health of children.
You can’t see it, but right here in the UK, toxic air poses a dangerous threat to children’s health. Across 86% of the UK, children are breathing in harmful levels of toxic air.
This toxic air can harm their lungs, impact brains development, and can create lasting problems like asthma. UNICEF research has shown that across the UK, 86% of children are breathing dangerous levels of toxic air.
The Government have a responsibility to ensure that all children grow up in an environment free from toxic air.
UNICEF are calling on the Government to commit to targets to reduce toxic air in the UK to the legal levels recommended by the World Health Organisation, create an action plan so that all Government departments work towards protecting our children from toxic air, and are calling for additional funding for Local Authorities so they are able to keep children safe wherever they live, learn and play.
The backing comes after Portsmouth City Council declared a ‘climate change emergency’ in the city following a motion presented by the Labour Group last week.
The Portsmouth South MP said:
“Children are the least responsible for polluting the air but the most vulnerable to its harmful effects.
I’m supporting UNICEF in raising this issue, and calling for more action from the Government to put an end to this growing crisis.
I have been working with local campaigners on these concerns and will be sharing views from Portsmouth in Parliament to ensure action is taken by Ministers”.
Supporting the call, Milton campaigner Paula Ann Savage said:
“Stephen is right to raise concerns about air pollution affecting Portsmouth children. It is an issue people raise with me regularly in schools in Milton.
The council can’t just blame the government as the current Leader does, they need to work with them and the community to bring about the change our city so desperately needs so air pollution is tackled once and for all”.
A recent exhibition in Parliament highlighted a snapshot of the action happening in MPs’ constituencies and identified that 46,700 children (aged 0-18) are growing up in Portsmouth with unsafe levels of air pollution.