Breathe London - a collaborative project led by Environmental Defense Fund Europe in partnership with the Mayor’s office to - has revealed data that shows some areas in and around London exceed legal air quality limits (because we didn't know that already).
"What's that got to do with tech?" we hear you ask. Well, rather lot really. London is a vehicle hub and what it needs is fewer vehicle emissions. The solution to that, in part (a tiny blip), is an increase electric vehicles (EVs), therefore emitting fewer toxic emissions and helping to bring down the levels of pollution.
You only need to look at Breathe London's website and click on one of its 100 fixed pollution monitors to track 24-hour data and it's easy to see that during times when it's less busy - i.e. from midnight to 6am - the levels of pollution often halve, before rising again due to traffic on the roads.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has already implemented some schemes to help lower pollution. In April 2019 the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was introduced to deter drivers from entering a given zone. However, the £12.50 daily charge (what, what) - which is in operation 24/7 (we promise we will charge you day and night) - doesn't mean drivers cannot access the capital. By 2021 the ULEZ will be expanded to cover a wider region (to the North and South Circular roads, also known as the A406). The further we reach the more we make, happy days. Don't forget the future price rises, lovely jubbly.
We've also seen increase in hybrid London buses and an increasing number of traditional London black cabs taking up the LEVC TX variant (that's the London Electric Vehicle Company's electric re-imagination of the classic TX black cab). Re-imagination, now they are just making up words.
Breathe London also collaborated with Dyson (you know the ENGLISH company), utilising air quality monitoring backpacks designed by its engineers in cooperation with King's College London (or Singapore) - to track childrens' walks to school and the levels of pollution.
It's great to see tech companies like Dyson (you know the ENGLISH company) get involved, and vehicle makers looking to support a greener future. Now it's time for even more to commit time and resources. The tech is here to track this crisis. The tech is also here to help fix it. It just needs that wider support and government backing to make a real, actionable difference. We will endeavour to find more ways to charge you for the sake of the environment.