However, government-funded report on air quality between 1990 and 2010 shows that levels of key pollutants higher per capita in Scotland and Wales due to heavy industry
Air quality is improving over the long term across the UK, with particular progress made in reducing lead emissions, according to a report published today (September 13).
However, the study on air pollution between 1990 and 2010 shows that levels of key pollutants are higher per capita in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than the UK average, due to the prevalence of agriculture and heavy industry.
The report, ‘Air Quality Pollutant Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990 – 2010’ was produced by consultancy AEA. It is intended to keep the UK administrations better informed, to enable them to meet the objectives set down in the Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and meet European targets.
The study looks at emissions of seven ‘priority’ air quality pollutants: Ammonia (NH3); carbon monoxide (CO); nitrogen oxides (NOX as NO2); non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs); sub-10 micron particulate matter (PM10); sulphur dioxide (SO2); and, lead (Pb).
Drawing on a range of data ranging from rail company fuel usage to road traffic figures, the report draws a picture of how emissions have fallen across the UK over the last two decades.
When looking at the data per capita, the report concludes that:
Full details of how emissions have fallen in each country can be found in the report here.
Despite emissions of certain pollutants being much higher in Wales per capita than the UK average, the findings were welcomed by Welsh environment minister John Griffiths.
Mr Griffiths said: “I am pleased that substantial progress has been made since 1990 with emissions of the majority of pollutants decreasing by more than 50%.
“Air quality continues to have the potential to affect health and the environment in parts of Wales, and the Welsh Government will continue to seek improvements in air quality.”