Wales targets cars, wood-burners, bonfires in new Clean Air Plan

The Welsh government has published a new ‘Clean Air Plan’ that targets air pollution from cars, wood-burners and bonfires.

The Clean Air Plan for Wales, Healthy Air, Healthy Wales has gone out for a 12-week consultation today (December 10), and it’s hoped it will act as a ‘stepping stone’ towards a new Clean Air Act for Wales.

The plan includes measures such as investing £60m into walking and cycling, giving councils more powers to tackle indoor wood-burning, introducing Clean Air Zones and strategic tree and hedge planting to act as air pollution filters.

It also looks at the contribution that bonfires and fireworks make to air quality.

Other ambitions included in the plan are a new national air pollution monitoring network to be established before December 2021, concentrations of PM2.5 to be below the WHO annual mean guideline and tighter controls of ammonia emissions from farming.

The plan also recognises how air pollution can adversely affect wildlife and animals, calling it a threat to the conversation status of many habitats in Wales.

Earlier this year, Cardiff City Council said they will not implement a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in the city and instead submitted plans to reduce NO2 worth £32m, including bus retrofitting, taxi mitigation measures and active transport initiatives.

Lesley Griffiths, minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said: ‘We have made good progress but we must continue to improve. We must improve air quality, not just in the most polluted hotspots, but across all of Wales. This Plan will consolidate the work we have already carried out and build upon it.

‘Together, we have an opportunity to work towards improving air quality for our children and for future generations.  I urge people to have their say on our plans by responding to the consultation.’

Joseph Carter, chair of Healthy Air Cymru and head of BLF Wales said: ‘The Clean Air Plan provides an opportunity for Welsh Government and Local Authorities to work closer together to achieve the cleanest air possible.

‘We’re proud of the contributions we have been able to make to the development of the plan and look forward to continuing our work with Welsh Government to promote the positive impacts it can have for our health and the well-being of future generations.’

The consultation is now live here.