More about the new Clean Air Act

We need a Clean Air Act that will:

  1. Tackle the sources of modern air pollution, such as diesel, and accelerate the shift to zero emissions transport;
  2. Improve and strengthen existing legislation, enshrining the right to breathe clean air into law, so the UK has the most ambitious air quality legislation in Europe;
  3. Make the UK a world leader in clean technology, creating the jobs and industries that will help us, and others, clean up our air.

In addition to the three points outlined above, specific provisions of a new Clean Air Act would include:

  • Retain the objectives under the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive as a minimum safeguard on human health;
  • Adopt revised objectives based on World Health Organisation guidelines;
  • Guarantee the public the right to access the courts to enforce its provisions, in accordance with the Aarhus Convention. The procedure must be fast, affordable, allow for substantive review of air quality plans and policies and provide effective judicial remedies, including fines.
  • Consolidate the complex and disparate body of domestic, EU and international air pollution laws into one coherent and effective piece of legislation;
  • Clarify the roles and responsibilities of national government, local authorities, the Mayor of London and the devolved administrations;
  • Lay down a national framework for effective Clean Air Zones which phase out diesel and accelerate the shift to zero emission transport;
  • Implement the UK’s pollution reduction targets for 2020 and 2030 under the Gothenburg Protocol and the newly agreed EU NEC Directive, in order to tackle trans-boundary air pollution;
  • Ensure coherence with other relevant policies and legislation, particularly the Climate Change Act, Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy and planning guidance;
  • Require national, local and city authorities to collect adequate information on air pollution – including data from a minimum number of air quality monitoring stations – and proactively provide the public with that information, including through smog warnings during high pollution episodes; and
  • Require national, local and city authorities to take measures to reduce exposure to air pollution – particularly for vulnerable groups such as children, older people and those suffering from pre-existing health conditions.

If you are interested in discussing the new Clean Air Act in more detail, please contact cleanairact@clientearth.org.

2 Responses to More about the new Clean Air Act

  1. Linda sharples says:

    I fully agree with everything that has been said,however it is only recently that it has been brought to motorists attention that diesel cars pollute more than petrol cars . It is not easy to just change a vehicle. I have copd and certainly would not have chosen a diesel car two years ago if i had known

    • Andrea Lee says:

      Thanks, Linda. We do need the government to help people who made the same choices with diesel as you did. We are often asked for case studies by journalists so do get in touch if this is something that you might be able to help with.

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