Time for clear the air talks

Let me clear the air…Syntegra is not a political beast. We have no political affiliations or allegiances. We simply want what’s best for the planet and, as a secondary spin-off, UK businesses.

But against that backdrop, there is a lot we need to say to campaign on our mission which is born from political announcements and debate.

And so it is that we recently found ourselves in full support of the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who suggested that cars should be banned from roads near schools in a bid to improve air quality in an educational environment.

And we couldn’t have put it better ourselves when he said politicians who are ignoring pollution are like people who knew that smoking was harmful to health yet did not nothing about it.

The World Health Organisation recently revealed that air pollution is linked to the deaths of three million people a year around the globe, about 40,000 people a year in the UK, and causes problems such as heart and lung diseases and asthma and affects children’s development.

The Labour Mayor told the Times: ‘The science and the evidence is unarguable and yet it appears the government is ignoring it. You can’t play politics with people’s lives and people’s health.’

He wants to see more parents walking their children to school to reduce the number of cars on the roads in the capital.

The boroughs of Camden and the City of London have already placed bans on some roads around schools.

London is one of 16 areas sent a “final warning” by the European Commission for repeated breaches of legal limits of nitrogen dioxide and is not expected to meet legal targets before 2025.

The mayor criticised chancellor Philip Hammond for not including air pollution in Wednesday’s budget speech and we fully support such challenges – and await the much-anticipated announcement about what’s next for diesel cars in the Autumn financial statement (hopefully).

In a recent report, the CBI says a change of mindset by the Government is required to help the UK reduce emissions by 57 per cent in the next 15 years.

Businesses, it says, are looking to the forthcoming Emissions Reduction Plan to provide a clear and long-term framework so they can invest and innovate for the future.

We’re right behind them on that thought process – it will help our own business planning and marketing strategy as we target companies to assist them in their innovation and efficiency programmes.

Some straight-talking, clear the air talks are clearly required at number 11 Downing Street if the Chancellor is going to listen and act in the best interests of business – and the planet.