January 5th, 2018

The uncalculated benefits of pollution control

by Phil Sheppard

 

Did you know that, while the effects of chemical pollution on human health are poorly defined, its contribution to the global burden of disease is almost certainly underestimated?

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December 8th, 2017

Suffering from exposure?

by Tanzir Chowdhury

 

If more of us walked and cycled instead of driving short distances, there would be less pollution and we would all be better off. That sort of benefit is well-captured in the types of analyses that have long been used to understand the costs and benefits of transport policies. But what if we want to understand the impact an individuals’ choice of transport method has on their own health?

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May 10th, 2017

Air cover: politics and the air quality plan

by Dominic Hogg

 

The Government finally published its long awaited revised air quality plan, albeit in draft form, last Friday. Many have expressed disappointment with its lack of ambition, but less has been written about the signs of some key last minute ‘tweaks’. The apparent aim of the late changes was to minimise the risk of a potential political backlash against the plan from angry diesel drivers – but their effect could well be to delay the effective action on air quality that is so urgently needed.

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March 4th, 2016

Every breath we take…

by Philip Insall

 

Outdoor air pollution, most of it generated by the motors, tyres and brakes of private motor vehicles, is now calculated to be causing at least 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.  Can you imagine the outcry if this sort of mortality rate was associated with – say – kitchen food waste caddies? Other major causes of death, such as smoking (c.100,000 premature deaths) and obesity (perhaps 30,000) are the target of major public health campaigns. So why is government – national or local – so unwilling to act on air quality?

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November 27th, 2015

Something in the air? The Autumn Statement and pollution

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by Dominic Hogg

 

Wednesday’s joint spending review and Autumn statement (SRAS) ought to give us some insight into the George Osborne’s thinking about the current and future state of the economy, and his priorities for how it should be managed. So what environmental and other implications can we infer from the document and the decisions within it?

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November 13th, 2015

Look, no hands: tackling air pollution and climate change

by Dominic Hogg

 

If there is a silver lining around the breath-constricting cloud that hangs over Volkswagen (and, perhaps, other manufacturers of diesel vehicles as well), it’s that the publicity raises awareness of the damages caused by air pollution. While a cadre of politicians and journalists strive to maintain the impression that there’s a debate to be had on the science of climate change, there’s far less dissent from the view that air pollution brings a trail of misery, and even death, in its wake.

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July 24th, 2015

Exchequered past: George Osborne and green taxes

by Dominic Hogg

 

George Osborne’s July Budget was widely seen as his first opportunity to fully reflect the perspective of the Conservative Party in fiscal policy. The trailers to his speech made it quite clear that the Chancellor would break with the coalition’s approach on environmental taxation. So did the July Budget represent a disastrous departure from green taxation?

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