Last reviewed 29 October 2021

During a debate in the House of Commons on the Environment Bill, currently going through Parliament, the Government said that new targets on air quality will not be set until October next year.

That delay has been sharply criticised by Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council (BSC), who said: “While we understand that the Government wants to consult and it’s right we consider the impacts, a year’s delay in setting new air quality targets is not acceptable, especially for the thousands of people whose work means they don’t get to choose the air they breathe every day.”

Every year, up to 40,000 people in the UK die from exposure to outdoor air pollution, he went on, including people who deliver the post, collect rubbish or help children cross the road.

MPs also voted to reject a Lords amendment to the Environment Bill that would have meant the UK meets new lower World Health Organisation (WHO) limits for small particulates.

That decision was also condemned by Mr Robinson.

“At a time when the world’s eyes are on the UK and the example it’s setting on climate change and the environment”, he said, “it is disappointing to see our politicians strike down measures that would save lives and protect people by cutting air pollution.”