Clean air campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah CBE has told the Transport+Energy Forum event in Birmingham that unless you clean up the air, people will continue to die due to pollution.
The Founder of the Ella Roberta Foundation and BreathLife Ambassador said the so-called Ella’s Law aims to protect the public against air pollution which is one of the biggest public health hazards of our time and responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths in the UK.
Rosamund’s daughter Ella was the first person in the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death on her death certificate. “Ella’s siblings are now 16 and they’re in the sixth form, and time for her has stood still,” Rosamund said. “She should have been in the second year of university and when I think about her now, she really would’ve contributed to society.”
In conversation with motoring journalist and Faircharge UK founder Quentin Willson, Ms Adoo-Kissi-Debrah commented that we all take breathing for granted. Ella grew up by the South Circular road, and Rosamund explained “Without the illegal levels of air pollution, she wouldn’t have got asthma at all, and she wouldn’t have died that fateful night when the pollution levels were so high.”
Mr Willson mentioned globally seven million people die each year due to poor air quality, half a million of them children and Rosamund said that it was only when traffic was lower during lockdown a child did not die of asthma. She said she has spoken to King Charles and is calling on him to really influence air pollution rules.
“Electric vehicles are the way to go,” she said. “Every time there’s a change of leader, it slows things down. When you live in the UK you think we are the leaders, but if you go anywhere else you see we’re being left behind.
“You will be on the right side of history – think of the poorest and you’re helping them. Electric vehicles aren’t the only answer – we need to pump money into public transport, it needs to be cleaner, safer, cheaper.”