In a joint report, four House of Commons Select Committees have called for a new Clean Air Act, for car makers to pay towards a clean air fund, and to bring forward the target for 100% clean car production from 2040.
The report is the product of an unprecedented four-way inquiry by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Environmental Audit, Health and Social Care, and Transport Committees, to which the IAQM submitted evidence last year. It concludes that:
- Air pollution is a national health emergency resulting in an estimated 40,000 early deaths each year, costing the UK £20 billion annually. It is unacceptable that successive governments have failed to protect the public from poisonous air.
- Despite a series of court cases, the Government has still not produced a plan that adequately addresses the scale of the challenge. Nor has it demonstrated the national leadership needed to bring about a step change in how the problem of air quality is tackled.
- The Government’s approach is more concerned with box-ticking and demonstrating compliance than taking bold, affirmative action.
In October, four House of Commons Select Committees joined forces to launch an unprecedented joint inquiry on air quality. The Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Environmental Audit, Health and Transport Committees have come together to scrutinise cross-government plans and activities to tackle air pollution, in recognition of the scale of the problem and the roles of different government departments in addressing it.
The committees launched a call for evidence in October, to which the IAQM committee has made a submission. The call for evidence invited submissions on five questions:
- How effectively do Government policies take into account the health and environmental impacts of poor air quality?
- Do these plans set out effective and proportionate measures to achieve necessary emissions reductions as quickly as possible?
- Are other nations or cities taking more effective action that the UK can learn from?
- Is there enough cross-government collaboration to set in place the right fiscal and policy incentives?
- How can those charged with delivering national plans at local level be best supported and challenged?
To read the evidence submitted by the IAQM, download the full submission (pdf).
The committees have since been taking oral evidence from academics, businesses, campaigners and Ministers. To view transcripts or videos of these sessions, or to view other written evidence submissions, visit the inquiry’s web page.