Green MEP to visit groundbreaking air quality monitoring station and launch “Polluted Cities” report at public meeting in Brighton

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, will embark on an air quality visit to Brighton today to launch the Green MEPs’ “Polluted Cities” report.

Mr Taylor will visit academics at the University of Brighton’s groundbreaking air quality monitoring station ahead of hosting a public meeting focusing on the solutions to the UK’s toxic air crisis.

The former Brighton councillor will visit the £250,000 air quality monitoring station at the University of Brighton’s Falmer campus. The part-EU funded research centre is a key European project aiming to understand the impact of ultrafine particulate air pollution.

Keith, a vocal air quality campaigner, is hoping to find out more about how nanoparticulate pollution research fits into the broader conversation about improving Britain’s air quality.

Dr Kirsty Smallbone, Head of School at the School of Environment and Technology at the University of Brighton, said:

“We have relatively accurate models for NO2, but the models for particulates are lagging behind. Unless you know what the cocktail of pollutants in the air is like, and consider more than just NO2, you don’t really have a sense of the extent of the problem. The data from Brighton University allows real time information to be accessed, and is enhancing our understanding of the harmful air pollutants we breathe.”

In response to the Government’s ‘feeble’ draft plan to tackle the UK’s air quality crisis, published in May, the Green MEPs produced a report analysing the impact of the Government’s plans on air pollution in various cities across the South East, South West and London – the regions represented by the Green Party MEPs. The “Polluted Cities” report concluded that the “feeble” plan will lead to at least 50,000 deaths linked to air pollution by 2030.

Keith Taylor said:

“Clean air isn’t a luxury, it’s a basic human right. All around Britain, in our towns and cities, people live and work whilst breathing in dangerous and illegal levels of air pollution.”

“It’s a scandal that the Government is still displaying such a shocking disregard for the UK’s legal and moral obligation to take action; it is a shameful indictment of the Tories irresponsible and deadly apathy. Every week the Government fails to act, another 770 lives are needlessly lost.”

“As Greens, we support an air pollution plan that would truly tackle this emergency – and force car companies to pay their way for the damage they have done to people’s health. Half measures are not good enough, we urgently need bold action and this report sets out what we can and should be doing now.”

Brighton and Hove is one of the cities featured in the report and Keith Taylor MEP will be presenting its findings at a public meeting at the Brighthelm Centre on Monday evening. The free, non-partisan event will also look at plans to tackle the public health emergency. Keynote speakers at the event include Keith Taylor MEP, Dr Kirsty Smallbone, and Andrea Lee the Healthy Air Campaigner for environmental lawyers ClientEarth. The event is open to all and free entry.