Fiona B's blog

Our Statement on the latest Air Pollution findings

The latest reports on air quality in London are deeply concerning in terms of health but also in terms of climate change.

Air pollution is a visible sign of our inaction on climate change. Despite Boris Johnson’s claims that London would be the greenest city, nothing has been done to address the fact that most of London’s boroughs have been exceeding the legal limit of air pollutants.

The limits set by the World Health Organisation, are regularly over shot by London’s busiest roads and have enormous impacts on citizens’ health. This makes it much more difficult to promote less carbon intensive methods of transport, such as cycling or walking, when people face severe health impacts from breathing the air.

The notion that children should be encouraged to stay in schools, to avoid breathing the harmful air, rather than reducing the amount of emissions from vehicles is ludricous.

The latest findings on air pollution should be a wake up call for the UK Government. Green House Gas emissions from transport and factories, that contribute to our poor air quality, make up 30% of global emissions. If we are serious about tackling climate change, which given the most recent IPCC report we definitely should be, then we need to urgently act on reducing our use of conventional vehicles.

Both the causes of man made climate change and its impacts are the most harmful to vulnerable parts of our society. Emissions deeply affect the health of children and the elderly and the consequences, such as extreme temperatures, vastly increase the risk of fatalities within these groups of people.

This is a social justice issue as much as it is an environmental one. We need to heed these
findings and take them as a call for much needed action to protect our climate and our society.

Flooding: "Money is No Object." But what's the real cost?


Photo credit: James Williamson
 

Over the last month, whilst the Somerset Levels have been getting deeper underwater, our politicians have become increasingly out of their depth. With Paterson indisposed, recovering from an eye operation, Cameron has been stumbling around in his wellies, making weak apologies and shouting that money is ‘no object’. But will the money still be there when the tide recedes? And if so then why was it cut in the first place?


Warsaw - Day 1

Friday early morning. 01:26

Ferry from Dover to Calais - first leg of the journey
 
As can be expected everyone is quite tired, and most people are trying to catch some sleep on the floor or chairs of the passenger area of the boat.
 
There is excitement however, as most of us have never made a trip like this before - the prospect of meeting up with hundreds of other like-minded activists and traveling together across Europe sharing stories and ideas as we make our way to the most important negotiations on Earth, the U.N. Climate talks.
 
For those of us who have made a similar trip before, to Copenhagen for example, there isn't any less excitement; instead it manifests in a buzzing, sharing tales of the previous adventure. Tussling with Police, making new friends and allies, the feeling of unity that comes from being part of a transnational crowd who all want the same thing - bearing witness to a world event.
 
Tomorrow we will meet with 600 other activists and pour onto the train in Brussels, creating an alternative forum to that of the COP19. Where we, the real stakeholders in the decisions about the planet and our future, will discuss what we know are the real alternatives and how we collectively think the future should look like.
 
It is incredibly empowering to know that your voice and thoughts matter; without spaces being created by activists and campaigners only the voices of those detached from the reality of our situation would be heard.
 
We must continue to create these spaces, wherever the "decision making" about our climate is happening - whether it be 'fracking' or austerity measures - not only bearing witness but strengthening our voices and ideas, not letting others make bad decisions for us and without our consent.
 

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