June 24, 2024
UK Government Pledges £9M to Tackle Air Pollution

UK Government Pledges £9M to Tackle Air Pollution

In February 2013, 9-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah succumbed to acute respiratory failure. Prior to her demise, Ella had been in and out of the hospital and her asthma attacks were so severe that she collapsed several times. According to the coroner, the young girl’s lungs were filled with fluid.

What wasn’t revealed right away was Ella’s exposure to toxic air as she and her mother walked to and from school in an area in southeast London known to have excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide emissions. Ella’s mother, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, had no knowledge about the effect of toxic air on humans. So,  the mother wasn’t aware that her daughter was repeatedly being exposed to toxic air.

A Coroner In London Confirmed That The Young Girl Died Because Of Air Pollution.

Ella’s case was a wake-up call for authorities and the incident led to a court hearing. The Coroner’s Prevention of Future Deaths report recommended improvements in the way local communities carry out public awareness projects to inform people about air pollution risks.

Early last month, the UK government revealed that around £9 million worth of funding is being allotted to local authorities all over England as part of the campaign to reduce toxic emissions. The Air Quality Grant is a government project committed to helping councils create and apply measures for air pollution reduction.

A significant amount of the funding will be used for organising and improving air pollution public awareness projects in various local areas across England. Local authorities are encouraged to bid for a part of the funding so they can come up with solutions for better air quality and a healthier, cleaner environment.

The Air Quality Grant

The Air Quality Grant Is Focused On Three Areas Of Priority:

  • Projects geared towards improving information and knowledge about air quality and what individuals can do to lessen their toxic air exposure.
  • Projects focused on targeting areas with high levels of air pollution and reducing their exceedances.
  • Projects for creating viable steps in dealing with PM or particulate matter, the most harmful pollutant affecting human health.

The Air Quality Grant is a scheme that local authorities have created to come up with solutions for improving air quality. It has been awarding funding since 1997 and has given out approximately  £70 million to well-meaning and deserving projects.

Some of these projects include a community website used to spread information about air quality and make local residents more aware of toxic air problems, and a digital education project highlighting the effects of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter on human health. In 2019, the Westminster Cross River Partnership was awarded funding for a collaborative project that established initiatives for organisations to reduce emissions when making service trips and deliveries.

Applications for the grant closed  on  Friday October 8th 2021.

What Are Nitrogen Oxides?

Nitrogen oxides or NOx have always been in the air around us. However, most people only learned more about them when the Dieselgate emissions scandal broke in 2015. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), German car manufacturer Volkswagen intentionally installed defeat devices in their diesel vehicles to cheat on NOx emissions lab tests.

Air Pollution Will Kill More People This Year Than Coronavirus. What's to  Be Done?

When these vehicles are tested, their emissions levels are consistently below legal limits, but once driven in real-world conditions, NOx emissions exceed the safe and legal level. Nitrogen oxides are a danger to the environment and human health, so the cars fitted with the cheat software were actually contributing toxic air instead of keeping the air clean and safe.

Nitrogen oxides include nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, two gases that help form acid rain, smog, and particulate matter. NOx also contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, which can cause various health issues such as respiratory issues. NOx can lead to aggravation of existing asthma, lung damage, bronchitis, emphysema, and mental health-related problems like depression and anxiety.

Aside from VW, other car manufacturers caught cheating on NOx emissions include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Vauxhall, Alfa Romeo, Renault, Ford, Fiat, Peugeot, Porsche, Citroen, Suzuki, Jeep, and Nissan. The Mercedes emissions scandal allegations have been repeatedly denied by Mercedes representatives. Other manufacturers have also denied the claims.

How You Can Help Improve Air Quality

If you think your vehicle is affected by the emissions scandal, you can do your part in reducing toxic air by filing for a diesel compensation claim.  Manufacturers have been paying fines and claims and recalling affected vehicles for years, so it’s crucial for you to exercise your right to claim for compensation.

Visit your manufacturer’s website to verify your vehicle’s emissions details. For example, Mercedes-Benz has a page dedicated solely to the Mercedes emissions claim where drivers can check if their car models are included in the claim.

The next step is to get in touch with a team of emission experts to help you file and follow through with the claim. If you want high chances of a successful claim, hire the experienced experts at Emissions.co.uk. They’ve been in the industry for years and are highly experienced. They help and guide you every step of the way.