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Clean Air Zones in the UK will save lives and boost local economies

Analysis from CBI Economics, commissioned by the Clean Air Fund, quantifies the health and economic benefits that can be achieved through the introduction of Clean Air Zones in the UK’s major cities.

Today sees the launch of a new analysis that quantifies the economic benefits of reducing nitrogen dioxide in eight major cities in the UK through the introduction of clean air zones (CAZs).

By restricting the most polluting vehicles from entering the worst affected areas, CAZs are projected to deliver an average 18% reduction in NO2 across 8 key cities. The CBI Economics analysis, commissioned by Clean Air Fund (CAF), finds this could prevent at least 1% of deaths in local populations whilst injecting millions into local economies by saving lives and reducing illness and days off work due to NO2 exposure.

The analysis covers Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Sheffield. The findings underline the health and economic case for delivering CAZs in line with UK government requirements – and the cost to human health and the economy as a result of delays in introducing them.

The research follows a previous nationwide report  Breathing Life into the UK Economy, from CAF and CBI Economics in September 2020, which found that the UK economy could benefit to the tune of £1.6 billion boost each year if it were to achieve the guidelines set by the WHO for ‘safe’ air quality.

You can find out more about this work in our blog post here.

The accompanying methodology document for this analysis of CAZs can be found here.