UK100 respond to DEFRA’s new air quality statistics

Jason Torrance,  UK100’s Interim Chief Executive has responded to the new air quality figures released by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) which show a rise in of PM2.5 emissions, by saying: ‘Today’s statistics reveal the worrying scale of the Government’s air quality failures’

Referring to the recent revelation that Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for DEFRA, had ignored advice from The Office of Environmental Protection to set 2030 as the UK’s deadline for meeting the World Health Organisation’s PM2.5 limits, Jason said: ‘The Defra secretary’s decision already looked reckless. Now it looks like a deadly dereliction of duty.

Jason Torrance,  UK100’s Interim Chief Executive

‘There is the ambition across the country to take this issue seriously. Ambitious local authorities have already committed to meeting WHO legal limits in their region and offered to work with Defra to ensure their residents can breathe more easily. We urge the Secretary of State to reconsider the OEP’s advice and work with local leaders to stamp out the toxic air crisis sooner rather than later.’

The clear driver in the rise of PM2.5 emissions is domestic combustion which accounts for 16 per cent of PM10 emissions and 27 per cent of PM2.5 emissions. Burning wood as a fuel has been identified as making up three-quarters of those figures.

Jason says:  ‘It’s easy to think of air pollution as just a road transport and exhaust emissions problem, but it is more complicated than that. Domestic wood burning and biomass are the biggest drivers of the recent rise in PM2.5 pollutants.

‘That’s why it was disappointing that Ministers refused to respond to UK100’s Clean Air Net Zero report, which advocates for a joined-up approach to policymaking that ensures that we learn the lessons of Dieselgate and carefully consider the air quality impacts of climate policies. Nowhere do we need to learn that lesson faster than with the rise of domestic wood burning.’

UK100 recently published a report advocating integrated an approach to tackling air quality and net zero.


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1 year ago

Well said, thank you. So why not ban wood burning in our cities for a start, the log burners, stoves and bonfires? All of them. No excuses. And make sure garden compost can be taken to a local authority site for proper disposal if necessary. And make sure UK recycling rules and facilities are uniform everywhere. It’s a muddle as it is. And create a UK wide register of all domestic wood burning appliances with regular visits from chimney sweeps obligatory. Only then would we find out who is making all the air pollution. Saying the latest stoves are clean-burning is not necessairly true. There’s no such thing as clean-burning combustion. It’s only a question of how much pollution is made. And where it goes. But I’m sorry to say our new minister for the environment doesn’t seem to care. I read she has a wood stove herself, and the occasional open fire too. Not a very good example to follow? Mr. Gove said the right things but wasn’t in the job long enough to do much. That’s how it is.

1 year ago

That’s good

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