Clean Air White Paper launched in Wales
The Welsh Government has published a White Paper setting out its clean air plans, which is the next stage in the process of creating a Clean Air (Wales) Act. Consultation on the White Paper will run until 7 April.
The Welsh Government has also released a report on the pandemic’s impact on air quality from March to October 2020.
The report paints a complicated picture: the first two months of lockdown saw significant decreases in some pollutant levels, consistent with reduced traffic. However, other pollutant levels increased.
While less cars on the road meant a decrease of 36% and 49% in nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides concentrations, respectively, at Wales’ roadsides between March and May, a change of weather pattern brought polluting fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from continental Europe. Continued analysis of the longer term changes in air pollution due to lockdown measures will continue as data emerges.
Dr Sarah Jones, Consultant in Public Health at Public Health Wales said: "We welcome the publication of the Clean Air White Paper. It makes a strong connection between health and air quality, and recognises that it is often the most disadvantaged communities that live with higher levels of pollution. The White Paper strengthens and supports our work to protect and improve the health of the people of Wales."