#TimeToAct on Clean Air Day
On 15 June 2023, at Birmingham New Street Station, over 600 members of the public made a pledge to improve air quality in the city.
Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest campaign on air pollution.
Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UK Government recognise air pollution as the greatest environmental risk to public health.
The action started early in the morning, with commuters having the opportunity to talk to Birmingham City Council’s Clean Air Zone team and make a personal pledge to improve air quality.
Over the course of the day, members of the public were invited to make a pledge to use more public transport, walk more, or stop idling their car engine, each of which has been identified as a simple but impactful step to improve air quality and reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which is harmful to health.
Councillor Liz Clements, Cabinet Member for Transport at Birmingham City Council, said: “Everybody can make positive changes when it comes to improving air quality in the city, and there’s no better time to underline this than Clean Air Day. Through events like this, we can share our message and help build an understanding of how small actions can make a big difference".
The event featured a screening of Birmingham City Council’s #TimeToAct short film, featuring pupils from Birmingham schools. The film details the causes of poor air quality and the harmful impact it can have on public health, especially outside one of the assumed ‘safest’ places, the school gates.
The Clean Air Justice Network also screened their promotional video alongside an introduction to the Brum Breathes Fund, a new funding scheme launched by Birmingham City Council in June, and funded by revenues from the Clean Air Zone.
Look out for our next #TimeToAct pledge event on Car Free Day on 22 September at Grand Central, Birmingham New Street Station.