Information

Cleaner Air for Scotland 2: equalities impact assessment

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


Stage 4: Decision Making and Recommendations

Have positive or negative impacts been identified for any of the equality groups?

This interim review has identified at this stage potentially positive impacts of CAFS 2 for three of the protected characteristics, these being Age, Disability and Pregnancy and Maternity. No negative impacts have been identified for any of the protected characteristics. This qualitative scoring has been undertaken using the data and evidence available and gathered to date. However, this is a preliminary and indicative assessment of all 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.

Is the policy directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 20107?

There is no evidence, so far within this interim EQIA that the policy is directly or indirectly discriminatory under the Equality Act 2010.

If the policy is indirectly discriminatory, how is it justified under the relevant legislation?

N/A

If not justified, what mitigating action will be undertaken?

N/A

Monitoring and Review

The equality impact monitoring and evaluation will inform the development of CAFS 2 from the outset. This interim assessment did not identify any negative impacts on protected characteristics. The positive impacts identified for the Age and Pregnancy and Maternity protected characteristics will be brought about through improvements in air quality as a result of progressing the actions outlined in the new strategy. Impacts on the remote/rural or island communities requires further evidence gathering which will be undertaken via the consultation on CAFS 2.

Air pollution is a complex multi dimensional issue. Whilst good progress has been made a lot remains to be done with, in some cases, potentially significant financial and societal implications. The costs of not taking further action will continue to impact us all, however, in terms of negative health impacts, congestion, public safety, loss of amenity and a failure to maximise the potential for better quality of life and ultimately improved economic performance. Such failure will only serve to further exacerbate health inequalities and overall risks to public health for much of the population, besides having wider implications for efforts to tackle the climate emergency.

For these reasons it is important that, whilst focusing on delivery of CAFS 2 over the short to medium term, we must also have an eye to the bigger picture and identification of additional priorities in the coming decades. There are two elements to this; refinement and retargeting of actions and policies as new evidence on the health and environmental impacts of poor air quality comes to light, and continued alignment with other long term policies, notably the requirement to make Scotland a net zero society by 2045. To ensure the strategy continues to have no negative impact on protected characteristics, as additional priorities and evidence emerges, the equality impact assessment will be updated and mitigation identified where appropriate.

In order to objectively judge the effectiveness of the CAFS 2 delivery structure, a complementary reporting mechanism will be developed. This will build on the model of the annual progress reports produced for the original CAFS, there will be a simple line of sight from strategy to planning, through delivery and ownership of actions to ultimate accountability. This repotting mechanism should also provide on-going information on how the strategy is performing in terms of being as inclusive as possible for those protected characteristic groups and others affected.

Contact

Email: andrew.taylor2@gov.scot

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