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Cleaner Air for Scotland 2: equalities impact assessment

Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) for the draft new air quality strategy for Scotland.


Stage 3: Assessing the Impacts

At this stage of the interim equality impact assessment, the qualitative scoring of the potential impacts (negative, positive and neutral) have been considered for each of the protected characteristics. This qualitative scoring has been undertaken using the data and evidence available and gathered to date. This is a preliminary and indicative assessment of the potential impacts at this interim stage of the EQIA and will be subject to further review and revision after the consultation has taken place.

Characteristic Positive Negative None Reason for your decision
Age X    

There is scientific consensus that exposure to air pollution is harmful to people's health in terms of premature mortality and morbidity, mainly related to respiratory and cardiovascular disease. It is widely accepted that outdoor air pollution causes damage to human health across a wide range of conditions, from pre-birth to old age. Indeed, the evidence of effects of both short-term and long-term exposure continues to grow.

Although many of the most important pollutants are now mostly below accepted existing health based limits, areas of concern remain. More action is required, both in order to achieve legal compliance with domestic and international standards and to further improve the overall health of the population of Scotland.

The revised CAFS strategy promotes coherent and effective working across central and local government, to develop and implement integrated health focused policies which deliver lower air pollution and better health outcomes. This will have overall benefits for the population of Scotland and in particular those members of society upon whom air pollution can have the most acute impacts, including older people and children.

Disability X     Achieving compliance with air quality objectives and reducing preventable air pollution will improve air quality for Scotland's population, protecting those more vulnerable to its health impacts, including those who are living with conditions exacerbated by poor air quality such as asthma.
Sex     X The issue of sex differences in vulnerability to air pollution is complex. The evidence is inconsistent in studies of adults, although research in older adults and studies that have used estimates of exposure based on place of residence suggest that the effects of air pollution are more pronounced in women. Cleaner air in Scotland will have an overall benefit for the health of Scotland's population, but it is unlikely that there will be differing benefits, in terms of improved health, between men and women.
Pregnancy and Maternity X     The strongest evidence from epidemiological studies of pregnancy outcomes is that air pollution affects foetal growth and birth weight. There is consistent international evidence that exposure to particulates during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight. Although evidence regarding air pollution in Scotland and pregnancy outcomes is mixed, significant associations of NO2 and PM10 with low birth weight were found using cohort data (1994 to 2008). An improvement in Scotland's air quality, arising from the actions taken forward in the revised CAFS strategy, should therefore have a positive impact on pregnancy outcomes, particularly in regards to birth weights.
Gender Reassignment     X We are unaware of any relevant and existing evidence, at this time on the gender reassignment protected characteristic, in relation to this strategy. The consultation will seek views on whether the strategy is likely to have any disproportionate effects on transgender people.
Marriage and Civil Partnership     x We are unaware of any relevant and existing evidence, at this time on the marriage and civil partnership protected characteristic, in relation to this strategy. The consultation will seek views on whether the strategy is likely to have any disproportionate effects on married people and those in civil partnerships.
Sexual Orientation     X We are unaware of any relevant and existing evidence, at this time, on the sexual orientation protected characteristic in relation to this strategy. The consultation will seek views on whether the strategy is likely to have any disproportionate effects on people due to their sexual orientation.
Race     X We are unaware of any relevant and existing evidence, at this time, on race in relation to the strategy. The consultation, will seek views on whether the strategy is likely to have any disproportionate effects on people due to their race.
Religion or Belief     X We are unaware of any relevant and existing evidence, at this time, on religion or belief protected characteristic in relation to this strategy. The consultation should help to identify any areas where the strategy may have disproportionate effects on people due to their religion or beliefs.
Geographical location
(In particular remote/rural and island communities)
    X The response to the formal consultation will be required to inform this decision further. However, it is considered that CAFS 2 will not have a direct impact on this group. Further equalities impact assessments will be required to inform the development of legislation to deliver the commitments in CAFS 2 to phase out the most polluting fuels from domestic burning. It is at this stage when the impacts on remote/rural and island communities can be considered further and mitigation proposed to offset any disproportionate impacts
Low income     X The response to the formal consultation will be required to inform this decision further. As part of the consultation, we will seek views on whether the strategy proposals are likely to have any disproportionate effects on low income households. Particularly in relation to the action to legislate to restrict the sale of the most polluting fuels, as this may impact those living in fuel poverty.

Contact

Email: andrew.taylor2@gov.scot

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