Air pollution is one of the most important environmental risks affecting health. According to WHO, it causes up to 7 million premature deaths worldwide per year and around 379.000 in the EU and the United-Kingdom. One might think that we all breathe the same air and all face those risks, but we don't.
Studies highlight that economically and socially deprived and/or marginalized populations are exposed to higher levels of pollutants or more vulnerable to their effects on health. Yet, public policies in most countries still fail to take this into account and tackle air pollution as an issue of social justice. Most European States don't have specific plans to reduce health inequalities towards air pollution or make sure that their measures won't hit or target the most vulnerable.
Moreover, in some countries, the solutions pushed by the upper classes to fight air pollution don't always fit the working class interests, while the most deprived have solutions to improving air quality that are not on the political agenda, which creates new social tensions.
A cross-border team explores those inequalities and the solutions to tackle it in the UK, France, Poland and Romania.
Online publication with four reports from the team (France, UK, Poland and Romania) will be published in the next few days on the trilingual website Equal Times (French, English and Spanish versions).
Photo credit: Alexia Eychenne - "Rosamund Kissi Debrah, whose daughter Ella was recognised in the UK as the first official victim of air pollution, advocates for clean air and social justice".
- Être pauvre tue - Causette magazine (France), 17/05/2022
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