At its second reading in the House of Lords today, the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill received strong support from peers of all parties. Several spoke movingly of the health impacts of air pollution on members of their own families.
As Baroness Bryony Worthington said: “My Lords, we have with this Bill an opportunity to do something bold, something ground-breaking, which would be a fitting legacy for Ella, her family and her supporters.”
Green Party peer, Baroness Jenny Jones, said: “My Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill aims reduce all emissions, those that make people ill and those that are heating up our planet. Most of the solutions to the public health crisis caused by air pollution are the same solutions for the climate crisis. Solving one problem solves the other and that’s why it makes sense to act immediately by adopting the World Health Organisation’s latest guidelines.”
Lord Chris Holmes of Richmond MBE said: “I warmly welcome and support Baroness Jones’ Clean Air Bill and congratulate her on bringing it for debate. There could barely be a more basic right than that to be able to enjoy clean air and yet Millions, daily, are denied this. I hope the Government give serious consideration to the provisions set out in Baroness Jones’ Bill. It’s high time to pass this Bill, to enable people to breathe more easily, in short, to clear the air.”
Baroness Sal Brinton, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson in the House of Lords, said: “Despite the tragic death of Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi-Debrah in 2013, thousands of people continue to be hospitalised every year due to polluted air. This particularly affects those living with long term respiratory conditions such as asthma or COPD. Liberal Democrats want to see more action to cut pollution levels and clean up our air. That’s why we’re backing Ella’s law and this bill – to ensure that the air we breathe is safe.”
Geraint Davies, MP & Chair of APPG on Air Pollution, said: “Better air quality protects people’s health, reduces costs and improves our environment. Politicians have a duty to protect the public from the silent killer which is air pollution and Ella’s law would protect the millions who suffer from poor health due to toxic air. Children are particularly vulnerable to air pollution, and we all have the right to clean air, so we urgently need a Clean Air Act now.”
The Lords Library has prepared a briefing and the explanatory notes can be found here.