Air Pollution: Children

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of The Earl of Listowel The Earl of Listowel Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking, if any, to address the (1) short-term, and (2) long-term, risks of air pollution to children's health.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

All of the measures set out in the Clean Air Strategy will reduce emissions of pollution, improving public health for children.

In the short term, the Government has a plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions with funding of £3.5 billion, which includes £495 million for local councils to improve air quality. Part of this funding is specifically for local authorities with very high NO2 emissions to bid for.

Local authorities are best placed to target action to improve local air quality. The Government’s air quality grant programme provides funding to local authorities for projects in local communities to tackle air pollution and reduce emissions, which may include action targeting schools. Defra has awarded over £57 million in funding since the air quality grant started in 1997. A further £3 million has been allocated for 2018/19.

In the long term, some of the measures the Government are taking include ending the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040. The Road to Zero strategy sets out new measures to help us achieve our 2040 mission. The Department for Transport has also announced that diesel-fuelled trains will no longer be used by 2040.

Other measures are included in the Clean Air Strategy.

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