Air Quality

UK and EU Actions

Over many years, EU legislation setting tighter standards for exhaust emissions and fuel quality, has contributed to significantly improve air quality and UKPIA supports measures that are based on sound science and produce cost effective benefits for society.

For the oil industry, one of the key drivers is reducing the environmental pollution from the use of fuels. Since 1990 road fuels and vehicles have become significantly cleaner, resulting in much lower exhaust emissions despite an increase in traffic levels of around 25%.

Summary charts, showing the progress made in reducing many pollutants, may be found here (see chapter 9 of the report).

More detailed information, including the legislative and policy framework, may be found in the 'Air Pollution in the UK Report' which is published each year by Defra and can be downloaded by clicking here.

According to Defra data, the air quality in the UK has significantly improved in the last couple of decades. However, we are still seeing evidence of negative health effects and environmental damage caused by emissions of air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM), ammonia (NH3), oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). The air pollutants of greatest concern in the UK now are PM, NOX, ozone (O3) and NH3.

Meanwhile, climate change has emerged as a major global challenge, with achievement of legally binding targets by 2050 a key priority for the UK Government. As part of this program, Defra has mapped out a road to 2020 and beyond in its publication ‘Air Pollution: Action in a Changing Climate’ which may be downloaded by clicking here.

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For more information please contact

Hugh Tucker

Tel: 020 7269 7611