The Government will increase funding to local authorities and set new legal targets on air pollution in a bid to prevent further deaths.
In response to the Coroner’s Prevention of Future Deaths Report, ministers have agreed to increase the Air Quality Grant scheme for local authorities by £6m a year and launch a public awareness campaign about air pollution.
The report was published after the coroner ruled exposure to excessive air pollution contributed to the death of schoolgirl Ella Kissi-Debrah in 2013. The coroner ruled exposure to excessive air pollution contributed to her death by exacerbating her severe asthma.
A consultation on setting new legal limits on air pollution will be launched next year, with the Government using the World Health Organisation guidelines on PM2.5 to help shape these targets.
The Government is developing a more sophisticated population exposure reduction target, with a new monitoring network to capture more detailed air quality information across the country.
Environment secretary, George Eustice, said: ‘Ella’s death was a tragedy and I would like to pay tribute to her family and friends who have campaigned so tirelessly on this issue, and continue to do so.
’Today’s response is part of a much wider cross-Government effort to drive forward tangible and long-lasting changes to improve the air we breathe, as well as doing more to inform the public about the risks.’