Failure to tackle climate change and environmental pollution is already causing real problems for people in our constituency. I met with the British Heart Foundation in Parliament to discuss the damage air pollution can cause to our hearts.
Fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) is made up of tiny toxic particles which come from mainly diesel exhausts and the burning of solid fuels. Staff from the British Heart Foundation explained how this can affect the heart and circulatory system and increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Around 15 million people live in areas in the UK where average levels of PM2.5 exceeded World Health Organisation guidelines. In Newcastle alone air pollution caused 317 adult deaths in 2017, 3.7% of the total number of deaths. I want to see tougher regulations on air quality to ensure that we are at less risk of the associated health problems. The Labour Party will work to enshrine this in law through the Environment Bill when the Government brings it back before the House of Commons.