London’s Dirty Secret

On Monday two Greenpeace activists climbed up Nelson’s column, which sits 52 meters above Trafalgar Square, to put a face mask on the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson.


Other statues were targeted including; Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, Queen Victoria opposite Buckingham Palace and Eros at Piccadilly Circus. The protest led to a total of 8 arrests.

The charity is demanding that more action on air pollution needs to be taken to protect Londoners from having to breathe dirty air.

Greenpeace is calling for an expanded Clean Air Zone covering a large part of the city and for the next Mayor of London to “stop the talk and start the action”. The current proposal for an Ultra Low Emissions Zone, which is to come into force in 2020 only offers protection from dangerous air to residents, children and commuters in zone 1.

Greenpeace thinks this isn’t good enough.

“Figures show that nearly 10,000 people die prematurely from air pollution in London every year,” said Areeba Hamid, a Greenpeace campaigner, “The UK and EU set legally binding limits on levels of air pollution based on World Health Organisation guidelines. One or more of these limits has been broken in London every year since they came into effect in 2005.”

“In the first week of 2016 London used up a whole year’s quota of days in which it is allowed to breach emission standards. Some areas, such as Brixton Road and Putney High Street, are over three times the legal limits for NO2.”


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