Unlocking local action on clean air

Think tank: IPPR

Author(s): Maya Singer Hobbs; Louise Marix Evans; Stephen Frost

November 9, 2023

This report from UK think tank IPPR looks at unlocking local action on clean air.

There is an urgent need to address air pollution. Preventing the premature deaths of up to 43,000 people per year in the UK and reducing cases of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, dementia and asthma would be reason alone.

Those who suffer the most from air pollution are people living on the lowest incomes, in deprived areas and from minoritised communities, so improving air quality offers an opportunity to tackle these inequalities. But improving air quality can deliver many other benefits, including supporting people to live more active lives, creating more green spaces and people-friendly streets in our towns and cities, saving the UK economy billions of pounds, and reducing carbon emissions.

Across local and national government there is a need for greater ambition and urgency around air quality. Insights from councils that are leading the way with ambitious action to improve air quality suggested that adopting bold targets can help galvanise action.