Simon Thomas AM

A cross party motion on cleaner air will be debated in the Senedd today.

Assembly Members will call on the Welsh Government to tackle persistent air pollution and introduce clean air zones to change behaviour and improve the health of citizens.

The debate is ahead of international clean air day on 21st June.

Mid and West AM Simon Thomas said: “Air pollution causes 2,000 premature deaths a year which is 6 percent of Wales’s total deaths. Nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter must both be dealt with in order to combat air pollution.

“Public Health Wales describes our situation on air pollution as an urgent public health crisis, second only to smoking. The impact on young children’s lungs and health is particularly pernicious.

“One way we could improve air quality is by phasing out diesel and petrol only vehicles as soon as possible. We could move to alternatives such as hydrogen and electric vehicles.”

Joseph Carter, Chair of Healthy Air Cymru said: “Every day we hear more about the effects air pollution has on our health and the evironment, from the damage it causes to our lungs and our hearts, to the harm it does to our children.

“Our ambition should be that wherever you live in Wales, we can all breathe clean air. To do that we need ambitious measures from Government, like overhauling the way we move about our towns and cities through investing in public transport, cycling and walking, rolling out a network of Clean Air Zones in the most polluted areas, and a new programme of public health alerts.

“Healthy Air Cymru is grateful for the cross-party support this motion has received and hope that we can have an open discussion about how we can best achieve our aspirations for Wales.”

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