Cleaner Air for Scotland 2: progress report 2022-2023

Second annual report summarising progress on delivering actions since the Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 strategy was published in July 2021.

Summary of progress with Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 actions

1. Health

While all of the health actions in CAFS2 have been classed as long term, progress is being made on delivering against the actions and delivery milestones have been set. A Health Working Group has been established to support delivery of actions, and we have commissioned research to assess the evidence on health impacts of low level air pollution in countries with ambient air pollution similar to Scotland. The report is due to be published by the end of 2023.

2. Integrated policy

We are working across Scottish Government to ensure a joined-up approach to delivery of measures needed to improve air quality across a range of policy areas such as climate change, transport, agriculture and planning. In particular we have worked to ensure the National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) takes account of CAFS2, and that air quality is a key consideration in the update of the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activities (PEPFAA) code. Much progress has also been made delivering actions in conjunction with Transport Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) as well as other members of the expert Working Groups.

3. Placemaking

Good progress has been made on the placemaking actions, with the short term actions on track to be delivered by the end of 2023. The longer term actions to promote and support the use of the Place Standard Tool are also complete with delivery ongoing to ensure the Place Principle is embedded in our current and future action to improve air quality. The Placemaking Working Group is now focusing on supporting the action to undertake a review of nature based and green infrastructure interventions which can benefit air quality, this action is expected to be completed during 2024.

4. Data

All short term actions are on track to be delivered by the end of 2023. Focus has been on the establishment of a central data storage for traffic data and advice for local authorities on how to commission traffic data collection to support local air quality objectives. This work supports the development and use of the National Modelling Framework, which is a key action in the strategy. The medium and long term actions are all on track to deliver within the specified timescales.

5. Public Engagement and Behaviour Change

The publication of the public engagement survey has been a key deliverable in this area. A seminar was held in December 2022 to present the draft findings from the survey to members of the Working Groups. The next step is to develop a public engagement framework for air quality. This will be a priority for the Public Engagement Working Group and links to the delivery of a number of actions in CAFS2.

6. Industrial Emissions Regulation

Good progress has been made in delivering the industrial emissions actions, with the short term action completed and milestones set for the delivery of longer term actions. Of note is the completion of the longer term action to review the role of incineration in Scotland’s waste hierarchy which was completed in May 2022.

7. Tackling Non-Transport Emission Sources

Good progress is being made to deliver actions to tackle emissions from agriculture and domestic (household) burning. A key deliverable in reducing emissions from agriculture is the update of the PEPFAA code which is due to complete by the end of 2023. We have also published an evidence report to inform proposals for introducing a ban on the sale of house coal and high sulphur content manufactured solid fuels in Scotland. Commissioned research under our Strategic Research Programme will also inform delivery of a number of the domestic emissions and agriculture actions.

8. Transport

The majority of short term actions are complete with good progress made delivering the medium and long term actions. Focus has been on the delivery of the LEZs in the four cities and associated actions. The LEZs were introduced in May 2022 and enforcement began in Glasgow 1 June 2023, while Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen enforcement will commence in mid-2024. A number of actions have also been delivered to support a modal shift from private vehicles to active travel and to support the uptake of low emission vehicles.

9. Governance, Accountability and Delivery

All of the short term actions are complete. We have also made good progress delivering the medium term actions to review the LAQM policy guidance and to develop a more systemic approach to Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) production. Revised LAQM policy guidance was published in March 2023 to take account of the recommendations arising from the ESS investigation into air quality, and we intend to make further updates to wider policy areas within the guidance during 2024.

10. Further Progress Review

One of the actions in CAFS2 is to commence a review of the strategy during 2024 with a view to having an updated strategy in place by the end of 2025. At a meeting of the Ministerial Working Group on 28 June 2023, we sought views on adjusting the timeline for reviewing CAFS2 and publishing the next strategy to align with completion of research projects and key longer term actions which will run until 2026.

We will develop the timeline with the CAFS2 Delivery and Working Groups and publish the adjusted timeline in the next progress report.



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