People in Scotland ‘have a right to clean air’, Mark Ruskell MSP to tell Holyrood

THE Scottish Government will be challenged to “step up” to tackle air pollution in Scotland.

Scottish Greens MPS Mark Ruskell will confront ministers over the issue at a debate in Holyrood today.

And he will tell them all Scots “have a right” to clean air.

Ruskell, environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said it was clear that any efforts to improve the problem had so far been insufficient:

He said: “The numbers of communities facing dangerous levels of air pollution are going up not down and only a step change in investment in walking and cycling, better buses and restrictions on polluting vehicles will slow the death rate.”

It is estimated that air pollution takes an estimated 2,500 lives in Scotland every year. Friends of the Earth Scotland are also calling for action.

The Scottish Greens stated that a recent High Court ruling on the UK’s air pollution plans required the Scottish Government to urgently review its own strategy and the committee’s report has made a number of recommendations.

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“All eyes are on Scotland’s first proposed Low Emission Zone in Glasgow, but it needs far more ambitious targets, combined with the right funding support to clean up buses and include cars, taxis and HGVs early on in the scheme,” he added.

“People in Scotland have the right to live, work or go to school in areas where they know they won’t contract serious health problems simply by breathing in dirty air. It is long overdue that serious action was taken to tackle this silent killer.”

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Air pollution is creating a public health emergency, says FOE Scotland

IMAGE CREDITS: cc cocoparisienne & @shaunmilne

Shaun Milne is a Scottish based journalist with a particular interest in environmental issues, politics and travel.

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