In September 2016, we were in London for the ERS International Congress. We used the city as a launch pad for the third global Healthy Lungs for Life campaign, with a number of free public events and media campaign.
These events aimed to raise awareness of the importance of clean air to lung health. Two months on, a number of developments promoting the importance of clean air in London have taken place – here is a short round-up.
Sign the British Lung Foundation’s petition
One of the partners of our London activities, the British Lung Foundation, is campaigning for the UK government to pass a new Clean Air Act to protect people from toxic levels of air pollution.
BLF is also calling for more clean air zones and for monitoring of air pollution around schools.
Professor Stephen Holgate, former ERS Scientific Chair, calls for new Clean Air Act
Former ERS Scientific Chair and Healthy Lungs for Life champion Professor Stephen Holgate has written a blog recommending that the UK government passes a new Clean Air Act, 60 years after the existing one was put into place.
This is a sentiment Professor Holgate brought up several times in interviews while acting as a media spokesperson during our activities in London. Have a look at the press coverage.
ClientEarth wins High Court battle over UK government’s failure to tackle air pollution
In October 2016, ClientEarth won a High Court lawsuit against the UK government over its inadequate proposal to bring down the country’s air pollution levels, which breach EU limits.
This is the second successful legal battle ClientEarth has launched in recent years, following a challenge in 2015 where the government was ordered to produce a plan for how it would reduce air pollution to meet the targets.
Unsatisfied that this plan was strong enough, ClientEarth took the government back to court – and won.
The UK government will now be watched closely to ensure that it is doing enough to bring down air pollution. ClientEarth is also fighting similar cases across Europe in Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Poland.
Get involved in the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign
This year, the Healthy Lungs for Life campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of breathing clean air for lung health.
The campaign has already had a major presence at the Sociedade Brasileira de Pneumologia e Tisiologia in Rio, Brazil in October, and several events are taking place in November in The Netherlands and Belgium. There will also be dozens of events happening in India in the coming months in collaboration with the Indian Chest Society.
Why not help to spread the message in your own community with your own event? There are lots of free resources in a range of languages to support you.
Learn about the factors that can cause lung disease and the ways to reduce your contact with them.
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