Project information

Clean Air campaign

Air pollution is one of the biggest causes of premature death in the UK with disadvantaged communities more likely to be affected. We are campaigning for urban areas where people can breathe clean air, asthma among children is decreasing and elderly people can live free from pollution.

September 2016 - September 2019

Charity information: Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth logo
  • Need


    40,000 people in the UK die annually before they should due to air pollution. Dirty air is known to cause strokes, cancer and heart attacks, as well as a range of respiratory problems. Pollution affects children in particular because their lungs and vital organs are not fully developed. Road transport is the main problem, with diesel engines being the worst by far. We are campaigning to reduce the harm that air pollution is having on people’s lives.


    Ultimately we aim to save lives and improve people’s health as well as taking a large step towards decarbonising transport.

    We aim to work together with individuals and communities to tackle air pollution where they live. We will combine practical steps that people can take locally to reduce their exposure to unhealthy air with pressure for policy change. We will help people to get involved in practical activities, such as monitoring air pollution on their street.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Engaging with the public, raising awareness and facilitating monitoring of air pollution.


    » Development of a Clean Air Action Pack providing local community groups and individuals the tools needed to learn about the air where they live.
    » Exposing the problem in locations of key areas such as around schools. Building up a pollution map of UK cities which highlights pollution hot spots.
    » Working with communities and schools, particularly in areas where pollution is high to reduce children’s exposure to dirty air.
    » Promoting alternative transport options and lobbying for national policy change.

    Success will be seeing thousands of people around the UK engaged with the campaign, monitoring air quality in their neighbourhoods and contributing to the big, national picture.

  • Impact


    This project will reduce the potentially fatal impacts of air pollution in our major cities and provide a blueprint for its replication in towns and cities across the UK, leading to a race to the top amongst cities to be recognised as the city with the cleanest air. Its impact will see people nationwide reducing their exposure to deadly pollution and build unstoppable momentum towards cleaner, safer air.


    The risks are that the Government fails to take meaningful action on air pollution and we lose the momentum and public interest to make the changes we need. We will deal with this by taking a longer term view and building as much public support as possible to ensure we do not lose momentum and keep up the pressure to meet clean air targets. A positive vision is essential – we will relentlessly tell the story of how a world without air pollution is a more liveable, 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: £80,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £30,000 Campaign materials Materials for communities and schools and development of a Clean Air Action Pack.
      £10,000 Strategic planning & research Planning, research and development of the campaign plus supporter recruitment
      £10,000 Engagement activities Organising the public to take action on air pollution
      £15,000 Specialist campaigners Providing specialist advice for the campaign
      £15,000 Media & digital campaign To support the campaign and ensure strongest possible reach
  • Background


    England, Wales and Northern Ireland.


    All – particularly children and people living in poorer areas and in cities with dirty air.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Friends of the Earth 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.


    Oliver Hayes

    Oliver is at the heart of our campaign to clean up our cities air.