A consultation on a draft new air quality strategy for Scotland launched

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The Scottish Government is consulting on a number of proposals to further reduce air pollution, including potential controls on the supply of wet wood and house coal as it launches a new draft air quality plan.

The draft five-year Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 strategy follows the recently published Programme for Government.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham commented on the announcement: “The air that we breathe is fundamental to human life and the quality of our environment.

“Despite the undoubted improvements in air quality over recent years, there is more we can, and must, do.

“The proposals set out in this strategy are essential if we are to ensure Scotland has the best air quality in Europe.

“Since our original Cleaner Air For Scotland strategy was published five years ago, we have introduced some of the most ambitious climate change legislation in the world, published our Environment Strategy, updated our National Transport Strategy with an emphasis on greener travel and began the introduction of Low Emission Zones.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it is more important than ever that we design a better future and a more sustainable, green economy which will better support our communities health and environment as we head for net zero by 2045.

“So I would encourage people and organisations to engage in this consultation and work together for a better, cleaner future for our planet, this generation – and those to come.”

The strategy includes:

• taking forward potential measures to control the supply of the most polluting domestic fuels, including wet wood and house coal
• work with the agriculture sector to develop a voluntary code of good practice to help reduce emission of air pollutants
• a new approach to public engagement and behaviour change in relation to air quality
• a continued shift to more sustainable transport modes as set out in the National Transport Strategy

In November 2018, the Scottish Government commissioned an independently-led review of its Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy, which was published in 2015.

The aims of the review were to assess progress to date in implementing the strategy and to make recommendations for additional actions required to deliver further air quality improvements.

A report setting out the conclusions and recommendations arising from the review was published in August 2019.

These recommendations have been used to inform the development of a new air quality strategy, which is the subject of the consultation that has now been launched.

The consultation is now open, closing on 22 January 2021.

More information about the consultation and submitting evidence is available here