The government’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) has launched a call for evidence on modelling fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations in England.
Defra would ask the research community to support the UK government in its efforts to reduce air pollution through the development of air quality targets. Evidence and insight into possible changes to future PM2.5 concentration will help us to develop ambitious and effective targets which drive action to improve air quality
John Newington, Head of Evidence, Air Quality and Industrial Emissions, Defra
Advice from scientific experts will be sought on the insights that modelling of PM2.5 concentrations can provide.
Please send your responses to the AQEG Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org by 17th December 2020.
This includes the range of PM2.5 concentrations that could be expected under different future scenarios, the main drivers of future PM2.5, differences in population exposure and the level of uncertainty in modelling results.
Responses to the call for evidence will inform the modelling process for developing new legally binding air quality targets that will be set through the Environment Bill, which is currently passing through the House of Commons.
The Bill requires the government to set an annual mean PM2.5 concentration target and long-term air quality target, with the two targets working in tandem to drive action to reduce PM2.5 concentrations.
In the recently published targets policy paper it was proposed that this long-term target is a PM2.5 population exposure reduction target.
The UK has made significant progress in reducing emissions of PM2.5, which is the pollutant most damaging to human health, with a reduction of 78% since 1970.
The AQEG, together with the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP), are providing independent technical advice to Defra throughout the development of the air quality targets.
The fully attributed responses will be published when Defra sets out its proposed targets for public consultation.
These targets will sit alongside our Clean Air Strategy, the most ambitious air quality strategy in a generation which aims to reduce air pollution and save lives.
The Strategy includes new and ambitious goals, legislation, investment and policies which will help us to clean up our air more quickly and effectively. It has been praised by the World Health Organization as 'an example for the rest of the world to follow'.
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