Sector - Sustainability

Independent review to revisit Scotland’s clean air strategy

Professor Campbell Gemmell is to chair an independent review of the Scottish government’s clean air strategy.

The newly announced review will explore ‘Cleaner Air for Scotland – The Road to a Healthier Future’, assessing progress to date and the overall impact of the programme on Scottish emissions. Once the evidence is in, the review board will make a number of key recommendations relating to future clean air policy, and outline the actions needed to meet the government’s stringent targets.

Cleaner Air for Scotland was initially published in November 2015. It was the first strategy to address the issue of emissions at national level in Scotland, as opposed to the more generic UK-wide strategies that came before.

While a steering group has yet to decide the content of the review, it is thought that industrial, agricultural and transport emissions will come under scrutiny, in addition to associated health, planning and business issues.

During a meeting with researchers at the British Heart Foundation’s Centre of Research Excellence, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “There is a clear relationship between air pollution and human health impacts, and although we have made significant progress over recent years, more remains to be done.

“The review will bring together research being undertaken by the British Heart Foundation here in Edinburgh and others elsewhere to determine how we, as a nation, can take further positive steps to mitigate the impact of this hugely important subject.”

Professor Gemmell added: “Air pollution in Scotland has already improved significantly. It is a complex multi-dimensional challenge; connecting health, environment, climate change, planning, transport and business dimensions amongst others.

“As a result, it needs careful assessment in order to understand the issues, identify solutions and provide advice on the necessary next steps to continue to deliver long-term improvements in air quality and quality of life for everyone in Scotland. This review aims to provide government with the best advice available on the way ahead.”

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