London is the most polluted city in the UK and one of the most polluted in Europe. Exposure to dangerous airborne particles is estimated to have caused 4,300 premature deaths in 2008 alone. Air pollution in London averages well over twice World Health Organisation (WHO) maximum recommended levels near many of the capitals busiest roads.
Living near roads travelled by 10,000 or more vehicles per day could be responsible for some 15-30 per cent of all new cases of asthma in children; and of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and coronary heart disease in adults 65 years of age and older. 1,148 schools in London are within 150 metres of roads carrying 10,000 or more vehicles per day and a total of 2,270 schools within 400 metres of such roads.
Join us and Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London at September’s Street Talk as we expose one of the biggest public health failings or cover-ups by a Government in modern history. Why is London’s air so polluted and what steps need to be taken to radically improve air quality? Will drastic measures need to be taken to ensure athletes can breathe easily at the 2012 Olympics? Why have our political leaders failed to act, leaving us liable to pay unlimited EU fines for failing to comply with laws that have been in legislation since 1999?
Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London: A breath of fresh air – exposing one of the biggest public health failings or cover-ups by a Government in modern history.
Upstairs at The Yorkshire Grey, 2 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8PN at 7pm (bar open 6pm) on 6th September 2011.
Simon Birkett founded Clean Air in London in 2006 and since then has campaigned tirelessly for an urgent and sustainable reduction in pollution to at least WHO recommended standards of air quality throughout London and elsewhere. Last year The Guardian’s John Vidal praised Simon for “almost single-handedly [bringing] the UK government to its knees, begging for more time from Europe to lower pollution levels in London and forcing mayor Boris Johnson to act.”
Clean Air in London won the City of London Corporation’s Sustainable City Award presented for Outstanding Contributions to Enhancing Air Quality 2010/11. Simon Birkett is a Science and Policy Advisor to ClientEarth since and has been a member of Environmental Protection UK’s Air Quality Committee since 2009. He was profiled by the Guardian on 22 February 2011: Former banker’s pollution fight a breath of fresh air.