UK to ratify international agreement to reduce air pollution

The amended Gothenburg Protocol sets ambitious international targets, including new national emission reduction commitments to be met by 2020 and beyond

The UK Government has taken an important step towards ratifying an international agreement to reduce air pollution.

An Explanatory Memorandum and the text of the amendment to the Gothenburg Protocol signed by Environment Secretary Michael Gove was laid before Parliament last week.

The amended agreement sets ambitious international targets to reduce air pollutants, including new national emission reduction commitments to be met by 2020 and beyond for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, non-methane volatile organic compounds and fine particulate matter.

The Protocol also introduces stricter limits for emissions from new and existing major stationary sources such as combustion plants and iron and steel manufacturing plants.

The government today set out new proposals to tackle air pollution in the UK, which includes plans to ban polluting wood burners and give local government new powers to improve air quality.

A new tool to help local authorities estimate the impact on health and savings to the NHS and social care under different air pollution scenarios has also been launched.

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