Environment Bill: Government rejects air quality targets in line with WHO

Amendments to align the UK’s particulate matter targets with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines have been rejected by MPs scrutinising the Environment Bill, on the advice of DEFRA minister Rebecca Pow.

The proposals, which are a core demand by clean air campaigners, would have bound the government to reduce the concentration of small particulate matter (PM2.5) to “less than or equal to 10µg/m3” by January 2030, in line with the WHO advice.

However, the committee scrutinising the bill on Tuesday voted down the amendments, with Pow telling MPs it would “not be appropriate to adopt a level and achievement date… without first completing a thorough and science-based consideration of our options”.

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