Ruskell steps up call for urgent action to tackle air pollution crisis

Mark Ruskell MSP, environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, will today (17 Apr) step up calls for urgent action to tackle the air pollution crisis in Scotland.

Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s debate in the Scottish Parliament in response to Holyrood's first ever inquiry into air pollution by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, the Green MSP said it was clear that any efforts to improve the problem had so far been insufficient:

“The numbers of communities facing dangerous levels of air pollution are going up not down and only a step change in investment in walking and cycling, better buses and restrictions on polluting vehicles will slow the death rate.”

It is estimated that air pollution takes an estimated 2,500 lives in Scotland every year. A recent High Court ruling on the UK’s air pollution plans requires the Scottish Government to urgently review its own strategy and the committee’s report has made a number of recommendations.

“All eyes are on Scotland’s first proposed Low Emission Zone in Glasgow, but it needs far more ambitious targets, combined with the right funding support to clean up buses and include cars, taxis and HGVs early on in the scheme,” Mark said.

“People in Scotland have the right to live, work or go to school in areas where they know they won’t contract serious health problems simply by breathing in dirty air. It is long overdue that serious action was taken to tackle this silent killer.”