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Welsh Government to prioritise Clean Air Bill

First Minister Mark Drakeford has promised to introduce binding legislation to ensure Wales improves air pollution record. 

The Welsh Government has announced its intention to introduce a series of major environmentally-focussed legislative measures, including the introduction of a new Clean Air Bill.

A Single Use Plastics Bill, banning or restricting items such as plastic straws, a Coal Tip Safety Bill, which will help safeguard disused tips, an Agriculture Bill to reform farming support and encourage more businesses to protect the environment, and an Infrastructure Consenting Bill, streamlining planning for large projects, will also be developed.

‘The climate emergency is very much with us. We will introduce five important Bills, which will help to protect our environment, improve the quality of the air we breathe and stop so much plastic polluting our beautiful land and seascape,’ said Mr Drakeford.

‘We have a packed legislative agenda ahead of us as we lay the building blocks towards the Wales we want to see. To deliver it we will continue to work across the Chamber to make sure our legislation is the best it can be and improves the lives of all the people of Wales,’ he continued. 

The announcement has been welcomed by campaigners, who have been applying pressure amid frustrations that 14 months after the last Welsh General Election, in which every party promised a Clean Air Bill, no concrete proposals had been made as to what shape that would take. Work will begin on the bill during the next year of the Sennedd, 2022-2023. 

‘The Welsh Government listened to us, and brought this bill forward. And it’s put us on the next step towards our cleaner, greener future – a future where we’ll be able to walk down the street knowing that the air we’re breathing in is clean and healthy and is not going to affect our health or shorten our lives,’ said Joseph Carter, Chair of Healthy Air Cymru and Head of Asthma + Lung UK Cymru.

‘It takes time, of course, for a bill to become law, and for all the legislation to be put in place. We hope for as quick a turnaround as possible. But today is significant, because we just turned an important corner and can see the home strait,’ he continued.

Last year, the Welsh Government unveiled plans for a new electric vehicle charging network, and a comprehensive Metro transport system, both aimed at cutting emissions. 

Image credit: Timcela

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chris
chris
1 year ago

Well said, Dr. Carter ‘ a future where we’ll be able to walk down the street knowing that the air we’re breathing in is clean and healthy and is not going to affect our health or shorten our lives,’ said Joseph Carter ‘ . Unfortunately as long as car & bus engines (and even tractors!) re allowed to ‘idle’ on our streets (for whatever reasons) how can we even hope to get cleaner healthier air? And what about the smoke from chimneys and industry? And ammonia from farms? The legislation will have to get tough. How will Wales compare with England and Scotland on these issues? Do we know who is doing best?

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