Leeds is going to come clean - at least it’s going to kick start a bid to make the air we breathe a little cleaner
It was one of five cities ordered by the Government to interoduce a Clean Air Zone by 2020. That’s not a long time for us to get our act together, but with 40,000 deaths attibuted to air polution (the equivalent of 350 in Leeds) there is no time to lose.
With President Trump pulling out of global commitments on reducing pollution and being a vocal climate change denier, and own Government trying to form an alliance with the DUP – a political group which has previously appointed a climate change denier as environment minister, people could be forgiven for wondering just what’s the point of doing their (little) bit locally.
But there is a massive difference that can be made locally to the air we breathe, and to easing and reducing illnesses like asthma and bronchitis among the local population
Of course one day of leaving the car at home, or cycling to work will not change the world – it won’t even change Leeds, but National Clean Air Day does provide a starting point. There will have to be a co-ordinated approach to cleaning up our air and some unpopular moves to get cars out of the city centre will be part of that. But it is worth it, for our future and our children’s future. We can have a local influence if not a global one.