The APPG on Air Pollution held a virtual roundtable which brought together local leaders and MPs to explore the limitations of the current air quality policy framework as well as what could be done nationally to enable local authorities to improve air quality for their communities.
Local leaders have been taking ambitious action to improve air quality, including introducing an Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London which has led air pollution to reduce by around a third, and introducing a Clean Air Zone in York which enabled York to meet its air quality targets and led diesel buses to be replaced by an electric fleet.
However, local leaders do not have sufficient powers or resources to sufficiently tackle air pollution in their localities, as they do not have the powers to address many of the sources of air pollution, such as banning wood burning stoves, or enough funding to transition their communities to low-carbon transportation.
This meeting explored the gaps in existing policy that governs action on air quality including the Clean Air Zone Framework and the Local Air Quality Management Framework, and how the policy framework could be improved to give local leaders the agency to seriously tackle air pollution for their communities.
Speakers included Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport & Environment at Birmingham City Council; Councillor Sarah Warren, Cabinet Member for Climate and Sustainable Travel at Bath and North East Somerset Council and Tom Parkes, Senior Air Quality Officer at the London Borough of Camden.
Watch the event in full here.