Improving Air Quality After Brexit

Improving Air Quality After Brexit2018-04-10T13:50:58+01:00

Project Description

The report proposes an approach to regulating air pollution post-Brexit which includes the adoption of global best practice such as
requiring public authorities to continuously reduce the levels of pollutants such as Particulate
Matter where there is no known safe level. EIC Executive Director Matthew Farrow said:

“Brexit poses both a challenge and an opportunity for air quality policy. The challenge is to
replicate the accountability and long-term framework provided by EU Directives. The
opportunity is to look beyond the EU approach and draw from best practice around the world –
such as the Canadian policy of requiring continual reductions of the most dangerous pollutants
that we know pose a serious risk to the health of our fellow citizens. In this report we set out
practical steps the Government should take to ensure we have an effective and robust air
quality policy framework outside the EU.”


The report was co-written with environmental consultancy Aether. Tim Williamson, Principal
Consultant at Aether and lead author of the report said:


“Air quality has yet to receive any real attention in the ongoing debate on the type of Brexit the
UK wants, and even less on what happens afterwards. In this report Aether and EIC are
providing recommendations to the UK government on what Brexit might mean for future air
quality in the UK, along with opportunities to better address this major environmental challenge
and ensure we keep making improvements into the future.”


The report is one of a series of reports the EIC is publishing setting out its members’ views on
the impact of Brexit on environmental policy and how policy should evolve after the UK leaves
the EU. It sets out a series of recommendations for Government as follows. The Government


  1. Create a statutory Committee on Air Quality, modelled on the Committee on Climate
    Change, to both track progress towards the achievement of good air quality across the
    UK and to hold the Government to account, with links to statutory air quality targets.
  2. Maintain international cooperation, including membership of the European
    Environment Agency.
  3. Learn from the policies and measures used across the world to address air pollution
    and adopt a continuous improvement approach to particulate matter (PM10 and
    PM2.5) and its precursors (NO2, SO2 and ammonia).
  4. Give the above statutory force through a new Clean Air Act.
  5. Establish clear, independent and meaningful routes of redress on environmental
  6. Though these actions help to stimulate the green economy for goods and services to
    reduce environmental impacts.