The joint committee report from an unprecedented four-way inquiry calls for a new Clean Air Act, a clean air fund financed by the transport industry, a national air quality support programme for councils, and for the Government to require manufacturers to end the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars earlier than the current 2040 target.   

On the 15th March,  the Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Environmental Audit, Health and Social Care, and Transport Committees published their joint report on improving air quality. The unprecedented joint inquiry was launched amid concerns over the inadequacy of the Government’s plan to improve air quality in the UK, as demonstrated by a series of successful judicial challenges in recent years. 

The report recommends that the Government should:  

 “Place the protection of public health and the environment, rather than technical compliance or political convenience, at the centre of air quality policy”;

 “require the automobile industry to contribute to a new clean air fund, following the 'polluter pays' principle”; 

“bring forward the date by which manufacturers must end the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars, in line with more ambitious commitments from around the world”; 

“introduce a Clean Air Act to improve existing legislation and enshrine the right to clean air in UK law”; 

 “initiate a national health campaign to highlight the dangers of air pollution, including the fact that air quality can be far worse inside a vehicle than on the street”; 

·Also,   widen the 2017 plan:

“to offer direction, financial resources, and technical support to the 45 local authority areas which breach NO2 limit levels but are not included under the current action framework”; 

·“align climate change schemes, urban planning, public transport and fiscal incentives with air quality goals to prevent Government policy from working at cross-purposes” 

·“take greater account of the costs of air pollution when establishing taxation and spending policy”; and 

·         “ensure that [electric] charging infrastructure addresses strategic needs and prioritises air quality hotspots.”

The full report is available on the House of Commons website.