Two years before becoming Mayor of London in 2016, Sadiq Khan ran the famous capital Marathon. He was healthy all his life, but while training for the race, he found he had difficulty breathing. He went to the doctor, who diagnosed adult-onset asthma. There was bad news in a city like London, says, where air pollution has trigger or worsen the disease is known to the hospital to send four people every day. Although you might think, not the toxic air while walking down the boulevards of London with a clear spring day, the capital of the air pollution limit provided by law, every year since 2010 has hurt – usually within the first days of January. “Looking around, everything seems hunky dory,” says Khan TIME early April. “But the love of the city that is sick.” More than 2 million Londoners living with illegal air pollution, often containing nitrogen twice or even three times higher than that of safety established by the European Union’s borders in the fields. Recent research suggests the children in the center of developing smaller lung because of the growth, while the mounting evidence of air pollution to everything from heart disease, cancer connection to psychotic episodes in adolescents. Some 9,400 people’s lives are cut short every year a number of toxic air capital, according to official estimates; Worldwide, the number was 6.5 million euro a year, according to the World Health Organization. Since his election three years ago in London Khan made a key battleground in the global fight against air pollution. The politician, a Labor Party member of the opposition U. K., has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on electric buses, auto create stations and cycle charging runs, and install thousands of air pollution sensors throughout the city. the flagship policy of Khan, the first “zone ultra-low emissions” of the world or “Ułęż” came into force on Monday. London drivers have to pay a day to relieve the city center to join, has introduced a congestion charge in 2003, traffic is already $15 Ułęż adds another $16 dollars a day for older cars and dirty. The combined $31 per day fee has upset a little ‘; Taxi drivers are protesting and some unions have to buy it “a tax on the arm,” who can not afford clean vehicles reported. But Khan says the problem too urgent to ignore. He sees himself as the heir to the British politician of the 20th century, the bold steps has the British patent in 1956 Clean Air Act happen to London often fatal clouds of smog called now “Pea dinner.” “It ‘was told they could not do drastic things such as factories move out of town,” says Khan. “But they were brave. And we will reap the benefits for decades.” Air quality is a perfect example, Khan claims as the cities of autonomy large changes faster than national governments can do. This is especially true at a time, which is the British Parliament with the upcoming British withdrawal from trading E.U., known as the United Kingdom and Gibraltar European Union membership referendum busy. “The rest of the country is paralyzed, but we can be more nimble,” he says. He regularly exchanged with other solutions to urban problems Mayors, says, including Anne Hidalgo in Paris, Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles, and Bill De Blasio in New York; De Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, the introduction of the first charging zone in Manhattan United States. “I’m a big believer [steal] ideas of other people,” says Khan. current problem of air pollution London took root a few decades after the Clean Air Act. In 1990, European governments have fallen in love diesel, encouraging drivers to buy diesel cars with tax breaks and the purchase of large fleets of buses diesel. “It ‘been well intentioned but pretty stupid,” said Simon Birkett, founder of campaign group Clean Air London. “They thought that if more people used diesel engines, fuel consumption more efficiently, it would produce less carbon dioxide.” But it did not predict how the authorities would be difficult to get rid of nitric oxide that gives the diesel. Meanwhile automakers, weak regulations have allowed to produce cars that emit more pollutants than expected. The popularity of diesel cars – which still accounts for 40% of cars on British roads compared to only 4% in the US, according to 2014 – the main reason for the air quality in Europe during that time in the US London will reduce the legacy aggravated by diesel, says Birkett, the fact that many roads and trails in the Middle Ages as opposed to network systems provided American cities were founded and snaked and twisted over hundreds of years in a “terrible , narrow and chaotic private Lay out streets. ” This increases bottleneck and medium vehicles are often left to a standstill in the discharge pedestrians lungs pumping. The use of gas stoves and illegal wood stoves worse by the public, the problem. Khan said caused the cumulative effect of “public health emergency” – but it is one that is hard to see. “If the people who have died from air pollution, were covered with green spots, it would be very easy for everyone to understand,” says Gary Fuller, scientists College London Air Quality Network Re, which monitors pollution around the city, and the author of a book on air pollution threat called the invisible killer. “But if people’s lives will be shortened by air pollution, dying things that people die anyway. Respiratory diseases, heart disease, stroke was” one of the most evocative deaths linked to air pollution that nine years she Kissi- Debra 2013 she was active and in good health, his mother says Rosamund. He played football and has always talked about wanting to be a pilot. But he developed severe asthma shortly before his seventh birthday and died two years later. The family had lived meters from the notoriously polluted South Circular Road in south-east London, and after the death of Ella, Rosamund to suspect contamination began her health problems may have contributed. “My daughter seemed like he smoked. He was only nine years old,” he says. a “striking association” between the records of emergency hospital admissions of Ella and local peaks of nitrogen dioxide and PM10 harmful Professor Stephen Holgate, an expert on the subject, examined the case and found. could in January, Attorney General U. K. Rosamund said, for a new study to air pollution potentially put on the death certificate of Ella apply – an unprecedented move in the UK. Rosamund says that the movement could force politicians to take seriously the pollution – and have a little ‘closing. “I was not able to tell her why he suffered so much. It ‘just that she’s on her death certificate, because it is dead. You deserve it,” he says. “Then what will we do for everyone else, so that this can not happen again?” Most say Khan is better than the previous mayor. His predecessor, Boris Johnson, who compete for the leadership of the Conservative Party and the premier job Theresa May was “notoriously bad” Birkett, the fighter now says. One of King’s College London study published on April 1, found that if the rate of progress continued throughout its duration, London it would take 193 years to reach the legal level of nitrogen dioxide. With the changes in 2016, the city could only get six. For the first time in 10 years in London made in April, without the legal limit is not exceeded. But if strong effect on the environment can be a political cost, is the chairman Emmanuel Macron had learned in November last year, when French: his plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by hiking taxes on fuel angry working class in rural areas who rely on their cars. The protest movement in progress “Yellow Vest” has a great challenge for Macron attempts to push through reform. Khan faces his strength. The allegations have Ułęż spark outrage in the right-wing press, and frustrated for suburban drivers who of heart on diesel are the change of government. , Plans to expand the Ułęż in 2021 on an area of about five miles from the city center, affecting 3.6 million people at home, which could be a problem for Khan’s re-election bid next year. Nearly 80,000 people have signed a petition against the extension and the angry driver chased Khan in traveling to the outskirts Chingford. His conservative opponents for mayor, Shaun Bailey, is committed to stop the expansion and marked the Khan measures against pollution “vanity projects.” The main opposition came from Ułęż swelling army of mini-cab companies ride-hailing from London, which could push the gain of 13% over an 8-hour shift – are not exempt from the congestion charge for more April 8 driver companies. It is said that change discriminatory because drivers of the iconic taxis blacks, which are usually white, both remain free from the congestion charge and Ułęż – now 95% of private hire drivers in London are from ethnic minorities. The mayor says blacks taxis are exempt because they are regulated by the London Authority Transport and are working on a separate emissions reduction plan in 2018 determined. But private hire driver leading a series of disruptive protests in central London in the scene placards that read “Sadiq will guide us into poverty.” On April 4, a judge ruled a group of Uber drivers can sue Khan for racial discrimination. Khan is not discouraged. “I do not apologize bold action to solve the air in London for the reception,” he says. He points out that air pollution is also a “matter of social justice” because the government’s research suggests Londoners poor and ethnic minorities are more likely to live near high polluted highways, and less likely to own cars. The mayor has donated $30 million announced a fund to help small businesses to scrap their old cars and buy cleaner alternatives. Live with the percentage of people in cities around the world projected 68% by 2050 to reach – and its population of London to grow by 37% – Khan says urgently needs to become the norm his aggressive approach to pollution . “We need to make living in the city, it is not bad for you,” he says. The extension of the global air pollution crisis – exposed with an estimated 95% of people to dangerous levels – making it difficult to achieve this goal to see you soon. But if the actions of Khan held, London, is at least breathe a little ‘easier.