Project information

Clean Air campaign

Many people in the UK aren’t aware of the scale of our air pollution problem or its health impacts. We are providing ways for people to discover the reality of their local air pollution, bringing them together to campaign for urban areas where the air is clean and asthma among children decreasing.

September 2016 - September 2019

Charity information: Friends of the Earth Trust

Friends of the Earth Trust logo
  • Need


    There are 40,000 premature deaths in the UK annually associated with 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 the worst of all, and the Government’s response to this health crisis is simply inadequate.


    By increasing engagement with air quality in people's local areas, we will raise awareness on the need to rapidly shift away from diesel vehicles towards clean alternatives. We will be working towards decarbonising transport whilst saving lives and improving people’s health.
    We will work together with individuals and communities to tackle their local air pollution, combining practical steps that people can take locally 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.


    » Providing community groups and individuals with the tools to learn about the air where they live.
    » Continue building a unique pollution map of the UK, shedding light on unknown pollution hot spots including around sensitive locations.
    » Engage teachers and parents with our Clean Air Schools Pack of resources to educate children and reduce their exposure to dirty air.
    » Promoting alternative transport options and lobbying for national policy change, particularly in key cities outside London.

    Success will be seeing thousands of people around the UK engaged with the campaign and 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 towns and cities and provide a blueprint for its replication in urban areas across the UK. 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 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 continued revision of our Clean Air Schools 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.