Government to introduce legally binding air pollution targets

The government has set out plans to introduce legally binding targets to improve air pollution and combat waste. 

In an announcement made today (August 19), the government has set out plans to introduce targets under the Environment Bill to combat environmental and climate challenges.

The four priority areas will include support for improving air quality, this will involve the introduction of targets which focus specifically on reducing particulate matter (PM2.5).

Another potential target will look to increase resource productivity and reduce waste and plastic pollution.

Further targets will also work to restore and improve biodiversity and tackle water pollution.

The Environment Bill was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the Public Bill Committee is scheduled to report by September 29.

To set these targets, Defra will collaborate with independent experts and stakeholders and the new environmental watchdog, the Office for Environmental Protection, will report annually on progress to hold the government to account.

Environment secretary George Eustice said: ‘The targets we set under our landmark Environment Bill will be the driving force behind our bold action to protect and enhance our natural world — guaranteeing real and lasting progress on some of the biggest environmental issues facing us today.

‘I hope these targets will provide some much-needed certainty to businesses and society, as we work together to build back better and greener.’

Kate Norgrove, executive director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF-UK commented on this announcement: ‘Legally binding targets are critical, but we need detail and urgency.

‘To address the nature crisis, we need these legally binding targets in the UK now — but just as urgent is the need to tackle the environmental damage we import.

‘A credible Environment Bill has to help protect the Amazon and other disappearing habitats with tough new nature laws to eliminate deforestation from the products we buy.’

Photo Credit — Pixabay


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