Air Pollution

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 17th September 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that upcoming legislative proposals protect air quality.

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

This Government takes its air quality obligations seriously and the world-leading Clean Air Strategy, published in January 2019, sets out the comprehensive action required across all parts of Government to improve air quality for everyone.

The Environment Bill delivers key parts of this Strategy. It introduces a duty to set a legally-binding target for fine particulate matter concentrations, the pollutant of greatest harm to human health, alongside a duty to set a further long-term air quality target. It also ensures that local authorities have a clear framework and simple to use powers to address air quality in their areas; and provides government with new powers to enforce environmental standards for vehicles.

Alongside this, the Bill will include a UK Environmental Protections policy which will allow for greater transparency and strengthened scrutiny by Parliament regarding future environmental legislation, including on air quality.

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