P-05-839 Adopt WHO Guidelines and Introduce a Clean Air Act for Wales
P-05-839 Adopt WHO guidelines for air pollution into Welsh law and
introduce a new Clean Air Act for Wales
petition was submitted by the British Heart
Foundation Cymru, having
collected 688 signatures.
We call on the National
Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to adopt WHO guidelines for air
pollution into Welsh law, and to introduce a new Clean Air Act for Wales.
Current legal air quality limits for Wales do not protect health. The EU limits which are observed by UK and Welsh Governments are the same as the World Health Organisation's recommended upper guideline limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), but are less stringent than the WHO's threshold for other health-harmful pollutants such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
Foundation Cymru is calling on the Welsh Government to adopt WHO guidelines
into Welsh law, introducing a new Clean Air Act for Wales which will tackle the
major sources of air pollution and ensure that everyone from government and
local government, to business and the general public are working together to
tackle this urgent health crisis.
BHF funded research
first proved that short and long-term exposure to poor air quality can
aggravate and cause serious cardiovascular problems. Our research established a
clear link between cardiovascular disease and exposure to PM2.5 and ultrafine
particles; and that inhalation of fine particles can increase the risk of a
heart attack or stroke in vulnerable groups within 24 hours.
Public Health Wales estimated that, in 2017, air pollution contributed to 2,000 early deaths in Wales. Whilst the Welsh Government has been ordered to tackle illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide, there is still no plan to tackle particulate matter and very little detail on how the Government will improve monitoring of pollutants across Wales.
A new Clean Air Act
for Wales will:
Ensure that WHO guidelines on air pollution are
observed by Welsh law;
Introduce charging Clean Air Zones in areas which
are in breach or close to the limits for nitrogen dioxide and particulate
matter and ring-fence the funds for further improvements to air quality;
Ensure that infrastructure and technology is in
place to facilitate increased uptake of Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles and public
Invest in improved monitoring of pollution across
Wales, and ensure that information on the risks to health is available to
Increase public awareness of the impact of domestic
woodburning and the steps which can be taken to minimise this.
petition was considered completed by the Petitions Committee at its meeting on
Committee considered further correspondence and agreed to close the petition
given that the Welsh Government is currently consulting on a Clean Air Plan and
intends to publish a White Paper on a Clean Air Act before the end of this
Assembly term. In light of the practical restrictions on passing legislation
before the 2021 election, and the commitments made by the Minister, Members
concluded that there is little further that the Committee could achieve at this
time. The Committee wished to thank the petitioners for their engagement and
wish them well for the future.
details of the consideration of this petitions by the committee and related
documents can be seen on the Meetings tab above.
was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 13/11/2018.
Assembly Constituency and Region
- Cardiff Central
- South Wales Central
Business type: Petition
Reason considered: Senedd Business;
First published: 11/10/2018