Improvements in air quality across Scotland
Scotland enjoys a high level of air quality, and over the past three decades levels of the main air pollutants have declined significantly.
Between 2005 and 2020 (the latest year for which figures are available), nitrogen oxide emissions have decreased by 61%, fine particulate matter by 52% and sulphur dioxide by 92%. Additionally, the number of monitoring sites exceeding air quality objectives is reducing – for nitrogen dioxide from 14 in 2013 to zero in 2022; for particulate matter from 17 in 2013 to zero in 2022.
Excluding data from 2020 and 2021 (which are not representative of long term trends due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic), pollution levels across the Scottish monitoring network of c.100 sites continue to decrease year on year. 2022 represents the first time that objectives for all pollutants at all automatic monitoring sites have been met outside of pandemic lockdown periods.
Air Pollutant Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland: 2005-2020
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