HEALTHY AIR CYMRU MANIFESTO 2021
We have one ask. Deliver a Clean Air Act within 100 days.
Our 5 priorities
1. Introduce a new Clean Air Act for Wales which commits to tackling air pollution as a public health imperative. A new Act that will protect our’ right to breathe’ by enshrining World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines with the mandatory requirement to produce a statutory air quality strategy every five years, which will be assessed against legal air quality guidelines by an independent monitoring and assessment board.
2. With the support of a Clean Air Fund, we are calling for a statutory duty on local authorities to increase monitoring, assessment and action to improve air quality. Such monitoring will help to build an effective national clean air plan, which will be reviewed every five years and take effective means to reduce pollution levels to improve public health and meet legal national air quality targets.
3. Focusing on future generations, we are calling for every school in Wales to receive funding and support to introduce School Streets and create a welcoming and safe environment for children to walk and cycle to school. We need every Local Authority to be encouraging positive behaviours in our schools by promoting active travel and protecting the healthy development of our future generations from harmful toxins.
4. To enable more people to walk, run and cycle, we are calling to enrich communities with attractive, healthy and green infrastructure with community spaces and green routes that improve our well being and local ecosystems. Everyone should have easy, five-minute access to a green space at home, at work and in the places where our children learn and grow. We need informed changes that will not only look after our lungs but the lungs of the planet too.
5. To discourage the use of the most polluting vehicles on our roads, we call for targeted support to trade in diesel and petrol vehicles for their alternative electric/hybrid versions and encourage a modal shift from car/van use to bicycles, e-bikes, e-cargo bikes and e-car sharing clubs. We need a charging network which doesn’t clutter active travel routes, support for demand-responsive community transport, electric car and bike-sharing schemes and active travel-friendly neighbourhoods which repurpose car parks as community spaces and discourage vehicle traffic.
Who we are
Healthy Air Cymru (HAC) brings together organisations that share a common vision for a cleaner and greener Wales. We want our nation to be a better place, where people have the right to breathe clean air and do not have to suffer from the harmful effects of air pollution.
We raise awareness of the impact of poor air quality on our everyday lives. We aim to shape the conversation in Wales about how we tackle these problems and influence policy decisions; to make the case for practical local solutions to reduce air pollution.
Creating a Healthier Wales
Air pollution contributes to almost 1,400 early deaths and costs the Welsh NHS almost £1billion every year. Families across Wales see the impact of air pollution on their daily lives. We are seeing more and more children developing asthma, their lungs are not developing as they should be, and people’s existing health conditions are getting worse.
For vulnerable people, even a short term spike in air pollution can affect their health, which leaves many people needing emergency hospital treatment. Long term exposure also increases your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, dementia, lung cancer, diabetes and more. People’s mental health suffers too, with research showing that poor air quality is linked to higher levels of depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Improving public health must be at the forefront of our fight to reduce air pollution and create a healthier, sustainable future for everyone.
A Cleaner and Greener Future
Climate change is the single biggest issue our generation faces. The decisions we make now will have long-lasting effects on our planet and our health – so it’s vital we prioritise a green and fair recovery. Cleaner air will ensure improved health and well-being for current and future generations. Our environment gives us the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. We are committed to tackling air pollution so we can safeguard these vital resources and protect people’s health.
Supporting Active Travel
Never before has it been so clear that the way we travel directly impacts the lives of those around us.The increase in walking and cycling during lockdown has shown that when roads are safe and quiet, people are more likely to leave their cars at home. For the sake of our health and our planet, we cannot let the car continue to dominate our roads. As we look to the future, our towns and cities need to become cleaner, greener and more sustainable places to live.
Creating Fairer Communities
Everyone has the right to breathe clean and healthy air. We are all affected by air pollution but some individuals and communities are more affected than others. Targeted action is needed to address these inequalities, protect people’s health and enable people and businesses to reduce their contribution to the problem. Together, we can make the changes necessary to build a fairer future for all.