‘Adults are not doing enough for air pollution’, Brit kids say

More than 40% of British children don’t agree that the maximum action is being taken to ensure the air they breathe is clean

Big Zero Report 2022

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Kids in the UK have the lowest level of confidence that adults are doing enough to tackle air pollution, compared to children in China, India, and the US.

A new survey by the charity Global Action Plan and Blueair found that almost 43% of children don’t agree that the maximum action is taken to ensure the air they breathe is clean.

That compares to 74% of the children in India who agree with what adults are doing in terms of air pollution.

The survey of 4,054 kids aged six to 15, of which 1,033 respondents are from the UK,  also suggests just one-in-ten Brit kids say they have never been taught anything about air pollution.

Asked about who they think should be helping to make sure children breathe clean air, 73% of the participants replied the government, 46% believe local leaders, 43% think owners of businesses and 27% believe schools.

Sonja Graham, Chief Executive Officer at Global Action Plan, says: “Access to clean air is vital for children to be able to live long healthy lives and realise their full potential. Children have the right to clean water, a safe home, why do they not have a right to clean air to breathe?”

Respiratory specialist professor Sir Stephen Holgate says: “The fact that the air they breathe is not recognised as a right highlights the lack of understanding and awareness surrounding its harmful impacts.

“Every day, around 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 are breathing air so polluted that it poses serious risks to their health and development. Globally, we must start treating air pollution with the seriousness it deserves.”

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