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Air Pollution

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 38589, tabled on 21 April 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the steps required to meet the World Health Organization guideline values for PM2.5; and if he will publish those assessments.

Answered on

28 April 2020

In July 2019, the Government published a report assessing the progress that will be made towards World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines under a range of scenarios. The report concluded that while significant progress would be made, additional action would be required in large urban areas such as London. The analysis did not outline a pathway to achieve the WHO guideline level for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) across the country, and did not take into account full economic viability and practical deliverability.

The Environment Bill establishes a legally binding duty to set a target for PM2.5, demonstrating our commitment to action on the air pollutant that has the most significant impact on human health. 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 WHO’s air quality guidelines. Stakeholders, Parliament and the public will have the opportunity to comment on and provide input for the process of developing this target.