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Unicef UK welcomes Environment Secretary’s pledge to tackle toxic air

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Unicef UK welcomes Environment Secretary’s pledge to tackle toxic air

16 July 2019– In a speech at Kew Gardens today, the Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced new measures to tackle toxic air. Unicef UK responds:

Alastair Harper, Director of Advocacy at Unicef UK said

“We are delighted with the Environment Secretary’s pledge to tackle toxic air and his promise to protect children from harmful levels of air pollution. We welcome his commitment to include legally binding World Health Organization targets into the Environment Bill as well as developing a national strategy which prioritises protecting children’s health from air pollution. Thousands of children have worked with Unicef UK to ask the Government to live up to their obligations to improve air quality, and it is to the credit of Mr Gove that he has listened to them.

“However responsibility without resources is not achievable. Local authorities need ring-fenced funding available to them if they are to reduce children’s exposure to air pollution and deliver meaningful change.

“We look forward to the next Spending Review providing for a Little Lungs Fund to ensure ambitions become a reality. We will continue to work with the Government on this issue as they develop their plans so that no child is denied their right to grow up in a clean and safe environment.”

For more information, please contact:

Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030,

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK.

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