Clean Air Act white paper - our reaction
Published: 15 Jan 2021
Responding to the news, Haf Elgar, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru and Vice Chair of Healthy Air Cymru, said:
"This is a significant moment for our nation. It means we're one step nearer to a Clean Air Act for Wales but the time to act is now. We cannot wait years to have legislation in place. Air pollution is a silent killer, so we need a Clean Air Act for Wales as soon as possible, not in years to come.
‘We urge the Welsh Government to work with partners and move this ahead urgently to deliver an act that will clean up our air and tackle the climate and biodiversity emergency."
Joseph Carter, Chair of Healthy Air Cymru and Head of Asthma UK & British Lung Foundation Wales, said:
“This White Paper represents a huge step forward in our fight to create a healthier future for Wales and reflects the growing political consensus we are seeing.
“We’re glad that the paper contains measures to; increase monitoring and assessment of air pollution levels, to tackle vehicle idling, to clamp down on outdoor burning, and more. We also welcome the commitment to reviewing the plan every 5 years.
“However, the current timeframe for enacting this legislation is far too slow. The First Minister promised to introduce a Clean Air Act this year, before this year’s election. Now we find out it could be as late as 2024 before any regulations come into effect.
“We are in the midst of a climate and public health emergency and need action now, not in 3 years’ time. If tackling health inequalities and building a cleaner, greener, and healthier future is truly a Welsh Government priority – then they need to act like it.
“They must adopt a more ambitious timetable, this is simply too important a can to kick down the road.”