Kingston Council has been highlighting local projects, signposting schemes and raising awareness on air pollution in preparation for Clean Air Day this Thursday, October 8.
Clean Air Day is an annual nationwide campaign organised by Global Action Plan to reduce air pollution levels across the UK.
In the last week the council has:
- Pointed to its Winter Tree Planting project, including a now-closed survey which asked participants to submit their requests on where they would like to see new trees in the borough and stated: “This winter, Kingston Council will be planting 500 trees across the borough, with 250 set aside for requests.”
- Publicised Kingston’s GoCycle routes, encouraging residents to opt-out of driving or taking public transport when going to work. They have also publicised the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme, about which the council has tweeted that “homeowners may be eligible for vouchers worth up to £5000” to increase the energy efficiency of their homes.
- Shared videos from Global Action Plan to raise awareness on air pollution, including information on what air pollution is doing to the human body, what we can do to cut outdoor air pollution and keep ourselves safe, and how to keep your home free from indoor air pollution.
Covid-19 has indirectly helped the situation in that, according to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, there has been an improvement in air quality on London roads due to decreased traffic levels during lockdown.
Kingston Council has confirmed that air quality has improved locally, reporting on their website: “Kingston [has] seen a 47 per cent decrease in Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) between the control period and lockdown, again largely due to the major fall in traffic, with Cromwell Road specifically falling by 57 per cent.”
The Clean Air Day campaign has urged citizens to rally behind this positive outcome of lockdown and work to continue improving air quality levels.
The participation in Clean Air Day and the initiatives explained above are all part of the wider #CleanerGreenerKingston campaign, which became a priority out of Kingston’s initial assessment report on the climate change emergency discussed at the council’s Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee on November 26 2019.
The report references the council’s commitment to its “2038 carbon neutrality target”.