Clean Air For Life
Lockdown reduced Bristol’s fatally illegal air pollution to safe levels. Now we must keep our air clean for the health of our local communities and our planet. We launched a week of creative actions on Monday 22nd June to demand clean air for life, not just for lockdown.
Air pollution and our city
Before lockdown, Bristol’s air pollution was over twice the legal limit, far exceeding the World Health Organisation safe levels.
Long-term exposure to air pollution causes around five premature deaths in Bristol each week. Toxic air contributes to several health conditions including asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Not only this, but exposure to air pollution increases our chances of being more severely affected by COVID-19.
Disadvantaged communities suffer the greatest consequences of air pollution whilst contributing the least to it. In a recent study, Lawrence Hill stood out as an area having the highest Black and minority ethnic population in the city and some of the highest levels of deprivation, as well as suffering from some of the worst air pollution in Bristol.
The solution to one public health crisis shouldn’t be another one. As we begin the recovery from COVID-19, we have a chance to do things differently. We can restart the economy without returning to deadly levels of pollution. We can keep our air clean and our city green and safe, while protecting jobs and businesses, investing in public transport and taking action to tackle the climate emergency.
The tragedy of the pandemic has shown us that we can unite – both locally and globally – to rapidly change our behaviours for the greater good. We know we can make dramatic and effective changes to protect the health of our most vulnerable communities. The time is now.
Average weekly air pollution in Bristol City Centre
We demand Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority deliver compliant air quality in Bristol by April 2021.
The week of action
We held a week of beautiful, informative and safely interactive actions to demand clean air for life, from 22nd – 27th June. Read more about our colourful cubes, 296 shoes and WECA’s sooty doorstep, and much more in our news stories from the week.
On Thursday 25th June, five rebels climbed to the roof of Bristol City Hall and refused to come down until the Council is willing to be transparent about their targets and progress on tackling Bristol’s illegal air pollution. After a week camped on top of Bristol City Hall, the rooftop rebels finally descended after Mayor Marvin Rees acknowledged Bristolians’ concerns on air pollution in his weekly Facebook Q&A. Read more here.
We are part of an international movement standing up for climate justice and against the mass extinction of millions of species. We use people power to demand our Government acts with urgency on the climate and ecological emergency.
We need you – whoever you are, however much time you have – to help build a powerful movement.