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Project information

Clean Air campaign

The recent IPCC report was clear: we have 12 years to avoid irreversible climate change and air pollution is a culprit. We're helping schools to educate future generations on the health risks of air pollution and we're calling for policy change on improving air quality in the UK.

September 2016 - September 2019

Charity information: Friends of the Earth Charitable Trust

Friends of the Earth Charitable Trust logo
  • Need


    Air pollution is a hidden killer, blighting lives across the country. It disproportionately affects children, older people and the most deprived in our society. The toxic gases and harmful particles that many of us breathe in contribute to asthma symptoms, heart disease, and lung cancer, leading to an estimated 36,000 early deaths across the UK every year, with diesel vehicles being the biggest emitter of such gases. The Government isn't taking strong enough action on this to save lives now.


    By engaging with air quality in people's local areas, we'll raise awareness on the need to decarbonise transport through reducing our reliance on diesel vehicles whilst promoting a transition to affordable and accessible clean transport alternatives. We'll also work together with individuals, communities, and schools to tackle the air pollution in their local area, combining practical steps they can take to reduce their exposure to unhealthy air with pressure for policy change.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Engaging with the public and raising awareness of air pollution.


    » Engage teachers and parents with our Clean Air Schools Pack to educate children and reduce their exposure to dirty air through innovative campaigning
    » Support local and community groups to campaign for restrictions on polluting vehicles
    » Raise awareness about air pollution and engage with local people in cities that are mandated by Government to implement Clean Air Zones
    » Push for national policy change on limiting diesel transport and promoting alternative and sustainable transport options

    What success will look like

    Success will be reaching as many or more schools as we did last year (700) and seeing more people engaging with the campaign, and pushing for improved air quality across the UK.

  • Impact


    This project will seek to reduce exposure of dangerous pollution to the public through innovative campaigns that build powerful grassroots alliances to secure restrictions on polluting vehicles. We will show that cities can successfully implement measures to restrict the dirtiest vehicles, while building broad public support for these measures including lobbying for compensation for diesel drivers.


    The main risk is that the Government fails to adopt the measures needed to bring air pollution within legal limits in the shortest possible time. We will deal with this by working in the areas most affected by pollution to build public and political support locally for the measures needed, many of which can be pursued by local authorities. A positive vision is essential – we will relentlessly tell the story of how a world without air pollution is a more livable, healthier, happier world.


    Funders of this project will receive regular updates and information about the project including information about upcoming activities, events and our achievements.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £40,000 Campaign materials Materials for communities and schools and updating and refreshing of our Clean Air Schools Pack
      £15,000 Political engagement Engaging with MPs, local councils and government bodies to take action on air pollution
      £20,000 Marketing activities Organising the public to take action on and creating awareness about air pollution via ad campaigns
      £10,000 Specialist campaigners Providing specialist advice for the campaign, including travel cost and events they attend
      £15,000 Media & digital campaign To support the campaign and ensure strongest possible reach via social media and other channels

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Henocq Law £15,000 Guaranteed
    Ian Hall £8,500 Guaranteed
    John Walton £2,000 Guaranteed
    Patagonia £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


    We will all benefit from reducing harmful pollution, particularly those living in poorer areas and children. People in poorer areas are most exposed to dirty air, as they often live near main roads and are more likely to drive older, more polluting cars. Children are affected more severely by air pollution due to the damage to their growing bodies. It can cause and worsen asthma, and in extreme cases reduce the size of their lungs by up to 10%.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Friends of the Earth Charitable Trust is a charity that inspires and supports people to take local, national and global action to improve lives and protect the environment. We link almost 100 local volunteer organisers, 160 local groups and more than 100,000 individual supporters in the UK. Our work, from grassroots to the level of national policy-making, has led to the passing of laws and policies, such as the landmark 2008 Climate Change Act, that shape the UK environment.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Aaron Kiely

    Aaron is the campaign lead and will be at the heart of the campaign to clean up our cities air.

    Jenny Bates


    Muna Suleiman

    Campaign Officer

    The England Team

    Richard Dyer (Derby & Nottingham), Brenda Pollack (Southampton), Chris Crean (Birmingham), Siôn Elis Williams (Bristol), Simon Bowens (Leeds)

Air pollution is a hidden killer, blighting lives across the country

Aaron Kiely, Clean Air Campaign Lead