Address Deadly Air Pollution in the United Kingdom

Target: Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, United Kingdom

Goal: Address air pollution crisis responsible for 40,000 annual premature deaths in Britain.

Over 40,000 people die prematurely from toxic air pollution each year in the United Kingdom. This crisis has primarily been driven by an overreliance on diesel powered engines and absence of policy measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

Since the infamous 1952 “London Smog” incident which claimed 12,000 lives in a matter of days, the United Kingdom has struggled to maintain air quality safe for public exposure. A 2017 government review found air pollution exceeded legal limits in 38 of 43 zones across the U.K. These areas include thousands of young children at risk for impaired lung development and premature death from exposure to diesel fumes.

The current government led by Prime Minister Theresa May has come under heavy criticism for not taking forceful action to reduce air pollution. This includes from the British High Court, which ruled their proposed action plan did not go far enough to curb diesel emissions. Major components called for by environmental groups, Ministers of Parliament and the Mayor of London, but omitted from the proposal, include scrapping older diesel vehicles, charging fees for diesel use and expanding incentives for low-emission vehicles.

It is time for the May administration to heed the demands of courts, lawmakers and citizens by urgently addressing air pollution in the United Kingdom. Please sign the below petition calling on the government to introduce aggressive measures to permanently reduce diesel emissions.


Dear Secretary Gove,

I am writing to urge that you heed the demands of fellow citizens, lawmakers and High Court by constructing an aggressive proposal for permanently curbing diesel emissions. As you are aware over 40,000 people each year die prematurely from air pollution in the United Kingdom. This includes thousands of children who reside in the 38 areas throughout Great Britain found to have pollution levels over the legal limit.

You have an opportunity to regain credibility in the fight to preserve public safety. A third failure by your government to introduce meaningful air quality improvement reforms will have significant political consequences.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: David Merrigan

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  1. Definitely a serious crisis that should be addressed immediately.

  2. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    no more air pollution in this world!

  3. Ken Lucas says:

    Why is my Country Gibraltar not included in your Petitions list of Countries.
    The Home of Miss World 2009.
    Its about time you included Gibraltar. I have requested you do so before.

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