News

Cleaner Air for Scotland

Published: 29 Aug 2019 10:05

Independent review on air quality published.

Scotland is performing well on air quality by both EU and global standards, an independent review has found.

Chaired by Professor Campbell Gemmell, the review found that concentrations and emissions of most major pollutants continue to fall as a result of action taken to date.

Moving forward, the report recommends a precautionary public health approach to air pollution reduction, that further consideration be given to the impact of new building developments on air quality levels, and further emphasis be given to the shift to more sustainable transport modes.

Commenting on the report’s recommendations, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“With Scotland performing well by global standards, it is clear that our current strategy has had a positive impact by raising the profile of air pollution and helping to facilitate constructive stakeholder engagement. So while I welcome this report, I am under no illusions that there is still more to be done as we progress towards our 2020 targets.

“We will now take the time to consider the review’s recommendations in detail before formally responding following a public consultation to gather wider views. In the meantime, I would like to thank Professor Gemmell and his team for their hard work and look forward to discussing this with him in due course.”

Chair of the review panel Professor Gemmell said:

“This was a big team effort to review a wide range of aspects of air pollution. Good progress has been made but much more is needed. Particulates and NOx from the transport sector as well as agricultural ammonia and domestic heating emissions remain major challenges and need targeted effort. The health impacts of air pollution are potentially severe and we must double down on taking coherent action. The report stresses co-ordinated effort across local and Scottish government to provide leadership and practical support to move us forward to a cleaner, healthier future.”

Background

Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy – An Independent Review

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 – was published in November 2015.

Professor Gemmell is Visiting Professor, School of Law, Strathclyde University, a Partner in Canopus Scotland Consulting, Professor of Environment Policy, Regulation and Governance at the University of Glasgow, Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Stirling and an Adjunct Professor in the Future Industries Institute at UniSA, Adelaide.