Clean Air Summit

This week, city partners came together for Bristol’s first Clean Air Summit, co-hosted by Bristol City Council and UK100.

The Summit was the first city wide discussion on the proposed Clean Air Zone and diesel ban policy, submitted to government as an outline plan to clean our air as well as looking at wider environmental improvements.

On the same day, Kings College produced a report that demonstrated, without any action, 300 000 life years could be lost by Bristolians. The lead researcher David Dajnak presented the report, highlighting that children born in 2011 would die up to 6 months early, from the impact of poor air. 

Our clean air proposals are a response to our moral, legal and ecological obligations to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide in the city in the shortest possible time.

The NHS, SusCom, Bristol Clean Air Alliance, Destination Bristol, Bristol Green Capital Partnership, UWE, the Environment Agency, RADE, Stagecoach, Sustrans, Business West, Black South West Network, Uber, First Bus and others all contributed with all partners recognising the health emergency.

Themes of discussion centred around:  

  • Logistical challenges and support for the economy and for organisations during the transition.
  • Finding a balance between exemptions and mitigations, without undermining the integrity of the scheme.
  • A Communications plan to explain the health challenge, the narrow legal requirement and the support available

My team then shared emerging plans to transform the city’s public transport system and re-imagine a pedestrianised city centre, with radical improvements to bus and rail services, and developing the mass transit underground network.

I referenced these plans in my recent State of the City Speech and as we work together with our neighbours, we will publish details of these transformative plans very soon. 

In a debate led by Guy Hitchcock from Ricardo, we went on to discuss the need for positive incentives to further reduce emissions from Bristol’s vehicle fleet and decarbonise our transport fleet to achieve zero net emissions by 2030, in line with the targets set in the One City Plan. 

This debate centre on:

  • Vehicle electrification targets
  • Financial incentives, like cheaper parking for Electric Vehicles
  • Support the roll-out of electric charging infrastructure 
  • Supporting more EV-specific car club spaces;
  • Transitioning the Council’s and other  fleets

We will be taking forward these initiatives into our climate strategy as we maintain momentum on cleaning our air, tackling non traffic emissions and making real change in a climate emergency.

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