Minister Naughten outlines his plans to improve air quality to help save lives of asthma sufferers in Longford

Alan Walsh

Reporter:

Alan Walsh

Minister Naughten outlines his plans to improve air quality to help save lives of asthma sufferers in Longford

Chief Executive Officer of the Asthma Society of Ireland Averil Power pictured with Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten TD.

The Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten met with the Chief Executive Officer of the Asthma Society of Ireland Averil Power to outline his plans to improve air quality in Ireland. Ireland ranks fourth in the world for the condition of asthma.

“Asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulminary Disease) are among the most serious issues for the Irish health service and both are heavily influenced by air quality and other environmental factors.  In Ireland alone four deaths per day can be attributed to air pollution and a cost estimated to be around €2 billion per year,” stated Minister Naughten.

Among the topics discussed between Minister Naughten and Averil Power at their meeting in Government Buildings were:

The early implementation of a national smoky coal ban; a national network of real-time air quality monitoring stations; pollution from transport

Minister Naughten also confirmed to Averil Power that within the next six weeks he will:

·         Publish Ireland’s first Annual Transition Statement under our Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act

·         Bring Ireland’s first National Mitigation Plan to public consultation to ensure our citizens can contribute to this process and inform the actions identified by key sectors in developing a coherent and effective plan

·         Launch Ireland’s National Climate Dialogue in early 2017

·         Publish an initial consultation on a Clean Air Strategy for Ireland with a view to developing an ambitious plan in line with EU policy that seeks to protect citizens’ health, and   that fully recognises the inter-linkages between our energy use and the quality of air we breathe

·         Announce details of a joint venture between two semi-state companies that seeks to optimise the supply and management of sustainable biomass industry for Ireland