Fri 24 Apr, 2020

Action is needed from the Scottish Government to prevent a surge in air pollution when lockdown is lifted, said Scottish Greens Environment Spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP this afternoon.

Speaking at a virtual questions session Mr Ruskell highlighted the huge improvement in air quality in towns and cities since emergency measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus were introduced, warning that access to clean air is vital as the lockdown is lifted.

Mark Ruskell MSP said:

“The unprecedented response to the coronavirus emergency has dramatically reduced the air pollution on our streets. Scotland has 38 hot spots that regularly breach legal pollution levels, but the lockdown measures have drastically reduced the pollution on each of these streets.

“The Scottish Government must ensure that as lockdown is lifted we don’t simply allow things to go back to the way they were. We know that poor air quality is responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Access to clean air will be vital to support both physical and mental health as we exit lockdown. It is also extremely pressing as evidence suggests exposure to air pollution may make it more likely for an individual to catch COVID-19.

“Ministers’ have promised that Scotland’s four biggest cities would have low emission zones, a promise that is now more important to deliver than ever as a direct response to this public health emergency.

“In recent weeks we’ve seen a huge increase in people walking and cycling for their daily exercise or trip to the shops, rather than use the cars. It’s vital we do all we can to continue this trend as lockdown is gradually lifted, and once this emergency has passed.”



Get involved

More like this

Concerns over wildlife crime during lockdown

Thu 4 Jun, 2020

‘Concerning’ wildlife crime during lockdown shows why greater protection and enforcement is needed, the Scottish Greens have said.

Speaking to Scottish Green environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell at Holyrood’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, Francesca Osowska, Chief Executive of Scottish Natural Heritage, said there has been reports of incidents concerning nesting birds, badgers and freshwater mussels during lockdown.

Speed limit review needed after lockdown speeding stats revealed

Tue 2 Jun, 2020

Speed limits must be reviewed after lockdown speeding figures show an increase in the proportion of vehicles above the legal limit, the Scottish Greens have said.

Stats revealed in a written answer to Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell show up to a third of vehicles travelling on Transport Scotland roads during lockdown were speeding.

The call for review comes as lockdown easing has seen an increase in traffic on roads, and ahead of schools going back in August.

Climate concerns growing in coronavirus crisis

Fri 29 May, 2020

The number of people concerned about the climate emergency has grown during the current crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,