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Clean air strategy 'needs legally binding targets'

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A new strategy aimed at cleaning up the country's air should include legally binding targets, London Assembly members have said.

In their Clean Air Strategy, published today, the government promises to set a "bold new goal" to reduce particulates across much of the country by 2030.

Politicians from the London Assembly's environment committee have welcomed the strategy but warned it is not detailed enough and lacks "legislative muscle".

Labour’s London Assembly environment spokesperson, Leonie Cooper, said: “Whilst it is good to finally have this strategy, this is one that is substantially lacking in detail.

“We need the government to go further, and set out precisely how they will give local authorities and the mayor of London the necessary resources to ensure effective implementation. It’s one thing having an ambitious plan, but the government has to be clear about just how they will achieve it.”

Caroline Russell, chair of the assembly's environment committee, added: “The strategy, as a whole, is short on detail and we want to see targets that are binding and implemented to strict deadlines.

“While we welcome any measures that will reduce Londoners’ exposure to damaging pollutants – such as the proposed ban on certain fuels – they must be backed by legislative muscle. Londoners should have a legally enforceable right to clean air.

“The air we breathe is killing vulnerable Londoners."