CIEH welcomes Labour commitment to enshrine Clean Air as a human right

20 February 2023, Ciaran Donaghy

CIEH have welcomed the news that the Labour Party intends to enshrine clean air as a human right and calls on other political parties to follow suit.

Media reports have suggested that Steve Reed, shadow justice secretary, would today announce in a speech that Labour will “explore which social and economic human rights require legal protection” adding “Whether it is rights to clean air, or a sustainable climate...The challenges of the modern world do not require us to go backwards on the basic legal protections enshrined in human rights”.

CIEH welcomes the news that Labour intends to enshrine the rights to clean air as a human right, and would seek clarity as to whether Labour will table its own Bill on the issue, or whether they will support the Clean Air Human Rights Bill tabled in the House of Lords by Baroness Jones of the Green Party, which is due its second reading in the House of Commons next week.

CIEH welcomes the fact that Labour have now joined the Green Party in prioritising greater environmental protections by calling for the rights to clean air and a sustainable environment to be enshrined into human rights legislation, and has called on all major political parties to follow suit. 

Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Campaigns at CIEH, said,

“This is a promising step from the Labour Party and we applaud their commitment of enshrining the rights to clean air and a sustainable environment as basic human rights.

During a week where Defra have confirmed that the UK is failing in our efforts to reduce emissions of PM2.5. this is most certainly a positive announcement, and we are keen to hear further details about how they intend to make this a reality. 

We want all political parties to put improving our environment front and centre of their policy proposals and we will continue to work with parliamentarians from across the political spectrum to ensure that this key issue is a priority.” 

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