Environmental law firm ClientEarth given £100,000 by City of London charity

Photograph: David Holt via Flickr

Photograph: David Holt via Flickr

A charity run by the City of London Corporation has given £100,000 to Hackney-based environmental law firm ClientEarth to help it expand its work improving London’s air quality.

The grant from the City Bridge Trust will fund a project working with businesses to ensure they are clued up about the effects of air pollution and the best means of tackling it.

London has some of the worst air quality in the UK, and in many parts of the city legal limits designed to protect people’s health are not being met.

Brixton Road this month had the dubious honour of being named the first in the capital to breach annual air pollution limits in 2017.

According to readings from the air quality monitoring station in Old Street, emissions there have so far stayed below legal limits.

Last year it emerged air quality improvements around some London roads flatlined in the decade between 2005 and 2014 and in some areas had even gotten worse.

ClientEarth has been a thorn in the side of the government over the issue. It recently won a landmark High Court case against the government over its “moral and legal failure” to tackle air pollution.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “Tackling London’s air quality problem is a priority for both the City of London Corporation and ClientEarth.

“City Bridge Trust is keen to help ClientEarth work with the capital’s businesses to improve London’s air quality. We are committed to supporting Londoners to make the capital a healthier and fairer place to work and live. We are delighted to have helped so many projects through the fund that are opening up incredible opportunities and enhancing lives.”

ClientEarth spokesperson Simon Alcock said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from City Bridge Trust. This is the perfect time to be engaging business following our court case victory and the announcements made by the Mayor of London.

“The solutions to solving our clean air crisis should benefit business and consumers. It will help protect the health of employees and make London a more desirable place to work and live. It will also create economic opportunities for businesses that develop the new products and services we will need to clean up London’s air. We want to build business support for this shift and to help make London a world leader in sustainable urban transport and clean technologies.

“Our recent win in the High Court following the victory in the Supreme Court in 2015 is forcing the UK Government to act on air pollution and has established ClientEarth as a leader in air quality campaigning in the UK.”