How does climate change relate to air quality?
Climate change is probably the most important problem of our time. It is a complicated issue that
is having far reaching effects on our society.
Increased flood risk due to climate change is of particular concern for London, as a large part of
the city is very low lying. There is also concern about the health impacts of
increased heat waves in the future; the 2003 heat wave resulted in around 2000 deaths in England
and Wales with the greatest impacts being amongst the elderly in London.
Some policies to reduce the impact of climate change have a negative impact on air quality. For
example, wood for home heating, which may decrease fossil carbon dioxide emissions but
will produce more air pollution. The climate change benefits of diesel rather than petrol is being called into
There are however ways forward that can both improve air quality and reduce the impacts of climate change.
These are primarily based around reducing emissions and conserving energy. Greater walking and cycling could help climate change, decrease air pollution and improve the public health problems caused by in-active lifestyles.