MORE GREATER MANCHESTER TOXIC AIR LOOMS
Trafford’s Breathe Clean Air Group has written an open letter to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, and the leaders of the 10 GM Councils, warning of the dangers of BIOMASS heat and power systems and Energy from Waste (EfW) projects. The warning comes as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority announced a £15 million European loan programme to subsidise renewable energy projects.
“When it’s recently been announced that Manchester’s air is more toxic than London’s and Greater Manchester has just staged a Clean Air Day and about to stage a Green Summit, it appears criminal that our leaders intend to pollute Greater Manchester’s air even more with incinerated wood and waste emissions.” said Peter Kilvert, Chairman of the Breathe Clean Air Group.
Although the European loan scheme will support different type of “renewable” energy schemes, such as solar, wind and hydro projects, it will also include burning biomass and burning waste. The European Union classifies Biomass schemes as “low carbon” when in fact scientists have proven that burning wood produces much more carbon dioxide than burning coal, therefore adding to Planet Earth’s global warming. Even worse, burning biomass produces masses of tiny Particulate Matter that when breathed in, can be absorbed into the bloodstream, poisoning the body’s organs. This can lead to poor lung function, respiratory disease, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and dementia. Children are at greater risk as their lungs have not fully developed.
Burning waste will also emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and a cocktail of volatile chemicals similar to cigarette smoking. Public Health England has still not released its report after four years, about how dangerous it is to live near an incinerator. The Office of National Statistics has released statistics to show that infant mortality is higher downwind of Incinerators.
It is possible that the European grant could be used for district heating schemes, and for heating schools and blocks of flats. People and pupils in the vicinity of these projects are at great risk.
“We want Andy Burnham to give the residents of Greater Manchester a pledge that this new funding will not be provided for projects that produce toxic air and worsen the already dangerous levels of air pollution,” said Mr Kilvert. “In fact, in the longer term, we have asked for, and have been ignored so far, that Andy Burnham declares Greater Manchester a Biomass Free Zone,” he added.
Re. MORE TOXIC GREATER MANCHESTER AIR LOOMS.
I am extremely disappointed that you can boast about the new European Regional Development Fund loan that the Greater Manchester Combine Authority will lend to Developers who will use it to provide BIOMASS burning heat and power schemes and Energy from Waste projects.
I know that you know that such schemes will emit airborne carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, Particulate Matter, Volatile Organic Compounds and heavy metals that will have a serious ill-health impact on the local population.
You have just run Greater Manchester Clean Air Day and will also run a Green Summit which recognises the already over-polluted air in the Greater Manchester Region. In fact recent reports say that Manchester’s air is now more polluted than London’s air.
I am appealing to you to pledge NOT to use this European fund for supporting Biomass schemes and Energy from Waste projects in Greater Manchester.
I also request that you declare Greater Manchester a BIOMASS FREE ZONE.
Chairman, Breathe Clean Air Group