Camden commits to achieve World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for air quality

On Friday 26 April, Camden Council launched its new Clean Air Action Plan, the first of three Clean Air Action Plans intended to move the borough to the World Health Organization (WHO) compliance by 2030.

The council launched the plan at an event hosted by Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn & St Pancras and Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for Improving Camden's Environment, the action plan was co-designed with the community, with over 1,000 residents and organisations involved in its development.

Councillor Adam Harrison said:

“Clean air is one of our residents’ top priorities. In discussions to develop Clean Air Action Plan, they described their fear about the air their families breathe and the health issues they were experiencing.

“In Camden, we want to make sure that no one should experience poor health as a result of the air they breathe – that’s why we were the first London borough to commit to World Health Organisation guidelines for air quality by 2030.”

“We remain deeply committed to making sure our borough is a clean, vibrant and sustainable place in line with our Camden 2025 vision.”

Keir Starmer MP said:

“The recent Extinction Rebellion protests in London have been a stark reminder that future generations will not forgive us if we don’t urgently address the environmental threat of climate change.

“We are at a tipping point and must take effective action now. The launch of Camden’s Clean Air Action Plan is a strong step towards addressing the damaging impacts of poor air quality on the environment and on our health.

“Camden council is ahead of the curve in capturing the energy and ideas of our community. Over 1,000 residents and organisations have contributed to Camden’s new Clean Air Action Plan: helping to shape actions that we can all take to make a positive difference.”

To help achieve Camden’s ambitious WHO target, the council worked with its communities, organisations and businesses to develop a series of actions on how we will tackle poor air quality.

To further guide the work towards WHO compliance, the council has also been working with King’s College London on a new pollution model for the borough, which has helped to test how effective some of the actions within the Clean Air Action Plan and Transport Strategy will be at helping us comply with the WHO guidance values by 2030.

The Clean Air Action Plan launch also included a range of presentations from King’s College on research into WHO compliance in Camden by 2030; The Mayor of London’s plans to improve air quality and a panel discussion to consider what more can be done to support the goal of WHO compliance by 2030.

The new plan links with actions outlined in Camden’s new Transport Strategy which aims to create a cleaner environment through increasing walking, cycling and public transport use and reducing car dependency.

The following presentations from the event are attached to the right of this press release:

  • What is Camden doing on air quality? - Ana Ventura, Senior Air Quality Officer, Camden Council: Camden’s new Clean Air Action Plan 2019-2022
  • What is happening in London? - Dr Rosalind O’Driscoll, Greater London Authority: What is the policy landscape for air quality in London and what is the Mayor doing to drive improvements in air quality
  • Can we meet our WHO targets? - Dr David Dajnak, King’s College London: KCL’s modelling exercise to support Camden’s Clean Air Action Plan 2019-2022 and Transport Strategy