London

Mothers demand climate action in London march

Activists Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The march comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced he has commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to carry out a review of the impact of dirty air on the nation's health

Thousands of mothers and their families have staged a march in central London to demand action on climate change.

The Mothers Rise Up protest was led by eleven 11-year-olds to represent the deadline of 2030 for tackling global warming, set by the United Nations.

The march, which began near Hyde Park Corner and ended at Parliament Square, was held in support of youth strikes nationwide.

Similar marches are taking place across the country and internationally.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Similar marches will be taking place across the country and internationally, including Cyprus, the Netherlands, Spain, the Czech Republic and Australia
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The march, which began near Hyde Park Corner at noon, ending at Parliament Square, is being held in support of youth strikes nationwide

Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, whose daughter Ella suffered a fatal asthma attack believed to be linked to air pollution, addressed the rally.

Image caption Nine-year-old Ella died from asthma, and her family believe air pollution caused her health to fail

"If you deal with air pollution it means you will also deal with climate change", she said.

"Everyone here needs to be bothered about the impact of air pollution. My daughter died a very, very horrible death.

"If you live near a main road you should be angry. I'm too heartbroken to be angry."

A 2018 report said it was likely unlawful levels of pollution, which were detected at a monitoring station one mile from Ella's home, contributed to her fatal asthma attack.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The march was led by eleven 11-year-olds to represent the 11-year window to act on the climate emergency

TV presenter Konnie Huq, comedian Shappi Khorsandi and lawyer and activist Farhana Yamin also addressed the crowds at the rally.

Ms Huq told the crowds that the march had been organised by mothers in between changing nappies and dropping children off.

She added: "The reason we are here is because of the youth strikes - the young people have been putting us to shame and it's time for us adults to take responsibility."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A dog sits in a buggy during an Extinction Rebellion climate change march on International Mothers' Day in London

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Saturday that he has commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to carry out a review of the impact of dirty air on the nation's health.

"This review will help us map out how much disease is caused by dirty air and what steps we are taking to prevent this - something which is at the heart of our work to help people live longer, healthier lives through the NHS Long Term Plan."

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