Government Failing To Act On Air Pollution

Labour TD for Dublin West, Joan Burton, has accused the Government of being all talk and no action when it comes to tackling air pollution.

The comments come as the latest report from the EPA said parts of Dublin city centre were likely to breach EU and WHO air quality guidelines this year.

Deputy Burton, who raised in the issue in the Dáil today with the Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton, said:

“There has been a noticeable deterioration in the quality of the air as one walks around the streets of Dublin, to which sufferers of asthma can attest. 

“Ten times as many people die by air pollution than in road accidents in the European Union. 

“The UN has stated the failure of governments across the world, including Ireland, to ensure their citizens can breathe clean air is a violation of the rights to life, health and well-being.

“The Clean Air Alliance claims that four people die in Ireland each day from the effects of air pollution and that around 1,150 premature deaths in Ireland are attributable to air pollution. 

“The Minister previously said that up to 6 June, 98 breaches of the daily air quality limit had been recorded in the State, of which 65 had occurred in Dublin, including two in the Phoenix Park. 

“The EPA report pointed to our over reliance on cars as a major contributing factor to poor air quality. The reality is our public transport system is simply not up to scratch, with many parts of Dublin under serviced, and the shortage of cycling lanes means people are being forced to use their cars.

“If the Government was really serious about tackling air pollution it would phase out diesel buses much quicker. But despite it’s big announcements, the Government is all talk and no action on air pollution, its impact on the ecosystem and climate change.”