Air Pollution: Pollution Control

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Olivia Blake Olivia Blake Labour, Sheffield, Hallam

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to establish a statutory target to meet World Health Organisation standards for fine particle air pollution by 2030.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Bill establishes a legally binding duty to set a target for PM2.5, in addition to a long-term air quality target. As part of that work we have explored progress that will be made towards WHO PM2.5 guidelines on a national level under a range of scenarios, and a report on this was published in July 2019. We are committed to setting challenging targets and following an evidence-based process, seeking advice from a range of experts, in addition to giving consideration to the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines.

The targets will be set in secondary legislation at the end of this process. It would not be an effective approach to policy making to commit in primary legislation to achieving a target, without giving due consideration to its achievability and the measures required to meet that target. Stakeholders, Parliament and the public will have the opportunity to comment on, and input into, the process of developing this target.

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