New action to improve air quality
New plans to put improvements in air quality at the heart of Scotland’s green recovery have been set out.
The Scottish Government is consulting on a number of proposals to further reduce air pollution, including potential controls on the supply of wet wood and house coal.
The draft five-year Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 strategy follows the recent Programme for Government, which set out a number of actions being taken forward to ensure a green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, prioritising support for health, wellbeing and tackling climate change.
The strategy includes:
• taking forward potential measures to control the supply of the most polluting domestic fuels, including wet wood and house coal
• work with the agriculture sector to develop a voluntary code of good practice to help reduce emission of air pollutants
• a new approach to public engagement and behaviour change in relation to air quality
• a continued shift to more sustainable transport modes as set out in the National Transport Strategy
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“The air that we breathe is fundamental to human life and the quality of our environment. It should protect and enhance our health and wellbeing. Despite the undoubted improvements in air quality over recent years, there is more we can, and must, do.
“The proposals set out in this strategy are essential if we are to ensure Scotland has the best air quality in Europe.
“Since our original Cleaner Air For Scotland strategy was published five years ago, we have introduced some of the most ambitious climate change legislation in the world, published our Environment Strategy, updated our National Transport Strategy with an emphasis on greener travel and began the introduction of Low Emission Zones.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it is more important than ever that we design a better future and a more sustainable, green economy which will better support our communities health and environment as we head for net zero by 2045.
“So I would encourage people and organisations to engage in this consultation and work together for a better, cleaner future for our planet, this generation – and those to come.”
The consultation will last for 12 weeks and a number of stakeholder events to engage directly with the relevant sectors are planned.
The proposals in the consultation have been shaped by the work of an independent panel of experts led by Professor Campbell Gemmell, an environmental policy adviser to the World Bank and Deputy Chair of the UK Committee on Radioactive Waste Management.
Cleaner Air for Scotland – The Road to a Healthier Future (CAFS) is Scotland’s first strategy specifically dedicated to tackling the issue in Scotland – previous strategies were conducted on a UK basis. It was published in November 2015.