Wednesday 8 November 2017

Air pollution UK-Client Earth taking Government back to court for the third time

From the Greener Jobs Alliance
The GJA welcomes the decision by Client Earth this week to take the Government back to court for the 3rd time over its failure to respond effectively to this public health emergency. LINK  
Unions need to add their voice to the call for action. The legal action was launched just after the release of yet more reports showing that pollution is at unlawful levels in most local authorities in the UK. The GJA calls for employers to take responsibility for the pollution generated by their business activities. There should be a legal duty contained in a new Clean Air Act making it a requirement on large employers to measure the emissions they are responsible for and draw up a clean air plan for their operations. This then needs effective enforcement. For example, construction companies are already under an obligation to show they are controlling pollution yet the lack of enforcement, often caused by staffing cuts, means illegal levels of particulate matter are contaminating workplaces and neighbourhoods alike.

The National Education Union NEU) has taken a lead by producing guidance this week in conjunction with the British Lung Foundation. LINK   

Unions can also put pressure on their local authorities to do more. For example this week Battersea and Wandsworth TUC issued a press release calling on the council to honour its policy commitment of ‘campaigning to national government towards a non-diesel economy’. This has been backed up by a huge citizen science campaign across the borough highlighting the illegal levels of pollution in Wandsworth.

Finally, the GJA is running a series of ‘Air Pollution as a trade union issue’ workshops across the regions. The first will be held in Manchester on Dec. 1st and the second one will be in Leeds on January, 26th, 2018 (contact for details)

No comments: