“Camden has a proud, rebellious spirit that throughout its history has seen communities come together to tackle problems, and to bring about real social change.”
These opening words from Camden’s draft Clean Air Action Plan 2018 – 2022 aptly set the scene for Camden Air Action’s 13 February lively, focused and good-humoured consultation workshop on the plan’s proposals. During the evening around 20 of us worked together to review Camden’s plans for cleaning up the air we breathe: by cutting NOX and PM emissions from buildings and building construction, transport and local businesses, deliveries and freight. And at other proposals aimed at reducing air pollution around local schools and other vulnerable community locations, and for harnessing lobbying skills; and involving the local health sector to raise awareness and support change.
By the end of the evening we agreed there’s plenty to support in Camden’s proposals, but we want them to be more ambitious, and they will need clearer quantified targets and accelerated timescales to take us securely to the WHO standard for healthy air Camden have adopted.
The workshop also called for Camden to declare a Climate Emergency, to make the connection between health harming and climate changing emissions, and to ensure the necessary focus, joined up action and resource allocation are in place to tackle both in the short timescales available to us. This has been incorporated into Camden Air Action’s consultation response to the CAAP, along with other bright ideas from the workshop.
A big thankyou to all who contributed, including Camden Officers Harold Garner and Tom Parkes, and to Castlehaven Community Centre who provided the venue and helped host the event.