Cleaner Air for Scotland - annual progress report 2017/18

Second annual progress report for Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy.

2. Introduction and Background

Despite progressively reducing emissions of air pollutants over recent years in Scotland, poor air quality still harms human health and the environment. Ill health caused by air pollution is also a health inequalities issue; it affects the more vulnerable members of the population disproportionately (people who are very young, the elderly, those with pre-existing medical conditions, and those living in urban areas and deprived circumstances). There are currently 38 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in Scotland. All but two of these are due to emissions from road traffic. One of the key overarching objectives of Cleaner Air for Scotland is to see significant progress towards revocation of all AQMAs by 2020.

Cleaner air provides multiple benefits, and the responsibility for better air quality rests with many groups, including the general public, national and local government and businesses. There are also opportunities to generate efficiencies and cost savings by linking air quality to related policy interventions, such as climate change adaption and mitigation, and noise reduction.

Cleaner Air for Scotland – The Road to a Healthier Future (CAFS) is a national cross government strategy that sets out how the Scottish Government and its partner organisations propose to reduce air pollution further to protect human health and fulfil Scotland’s legal responsibilities as soon as possible. CAFS seeks to progress a series of actions across six main policy areas, as shown in Figure 1 below, including a number of important new initiatives as follows.

  • A National Modelling Framework (NMF).
  • A National Low Emission Framework (NLEF).
  • Adoption of World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Scottish legislation.
  • Preliminary work towards a national air quality awareness campaign.

Delivery of CAFS is a commitment of the Scottish Government’s Plan for Scotland 2017 -178. Progress is supported by the CAFS Governance Group, and actions are managed by specific working groups and sub-groups. This second annual report outlines the current range of work carried out across the main policy areas to deliver CAFS commitments during 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.

Figure 1: The six key themes of the Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) Strategy

Figure 1: The six key themes of the Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) Strategy
(plain text version)

A Scotland that reduces transport emissions by supporting the uptake of low and zero emission fuels and technologies promoting a modal shift away from the car, through active travel (walking and cycling) and reducing the need to travel.
A Scotland which protects its citizens from the harmful effects of air pollution, reducing health inequalities
Legislation and Policy:
A Scotland where all European and Scottish Legal requirements relating to air quality are as a minimum complied with
A Scotland where air quality is not compromised by new or existing development and where places are designed to minimise air pollution and its effects
A Scotland where all citizens are well informed, engaged, and empowered to improve air quality.
Climate Change:
A Scotland that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and achieves its renewable energy targets whilst delivering co-benefits for air quality


Email: Andrew Taylor

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