Dublin majors pledge to meet WHO air quality targets

Source: Greennews.ie

February 17th, 2020

Dublin became the first Irish city to pledge its support to a new global
campaign to ensure higher standards of air quality standards in line with World
Health Organisation (WHO) targets.

The Deputy Lord Mayor and
the Mayors of the other three local authorities in the capital this morning signed
up to the BreatheLife campaign led
by WHO, the UN and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to mobilise
cities to protect the public from air pollution.

By signing up to
the campaign, Dublin joins 76 other cities, regions and countries in vowing to
bring air quality values to safe levels by 2030 while working on innovating
solutions for battling air pollution.

The city’s Deputy
Lord Mayor, Cllr Tom Brabazon, said that hitting the campaign’s stipulated
targets requires making “unpopular” yet “right” decisions
for the sake of public as well as the planet’s health.

The four
signatories acknowledged the need to allocating more road space for
pedestrians, cycling and public transport in Dublin, as well as the need to
move away from burning solid fuels to heat our homes.

An Cathaoirleach
of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Cllr Shay Brennan, said that protecting the
environment is “the cornerstone of our policies”. “Our Council
will continue to promote policies, actions and behaviours that align with
BreatheLife goals and improve the air quality for people who live and work in
our area,” Mr Brennan said.

Last September,
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned that Emissions from transport
and the burning of solid fuel remain Ireland’s top sources of air pollution, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned.

Another recent
EPA report on urban environmental
issues
revealed that
NO2 pollution in Dublin might already be above the EU safety ceiling. The M50
motorway, several city-centre streets and the entrance and exit of the Dublin
Port tunnel were reported as the most polluted areas.

Over 90 per cent
of the world’s population is estimated to breathe polluted air that fails to
meet recommended WHO air quality objectives, with air pollution influencing seven
million untimely deaths every year.

A new index from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago released last November described air pollution as a more significant threat to human lives than smoking and even war.

About the Author

Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.

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