The Scottish Government’s announcement this afternoon of an overhaul of Cleaner Air for Scotland is a great opportunity for change, say Friends of the Earth.

Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) is the Scottish Government’s strategy to tackle air pollution, published in 2015. Roseanna Cunningham MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, announced this morning that the review would be led by former SEPA Chief Executive Professor Campbell Gemmell, supported by a panel of experts.

Earlier this year, Friends of the Earth Scotland on behalf of Scottish Environment LINK, resigned from the Cleaner Air for Scotland Governance Group over lack of progress.

Gavin Thomson, Air Pollution Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland commented,

“2500 people die early each year in Scotland due to air pollution. It causes heart and lung problems and is particularly dangerous for our most vulnerable groups, such as the very young, the elderly and people who are already in ill health. This health crisis needs to be tackled urgently, and we need structures in place that can deal with the challenge.

“Apart from Low Emission Zones the Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy was woefully short on action. Scotland won’t meet the air quality targets that have been set and something needs to change. We very much welcome a review of the strategy to accelerate ambition and action, and commit the resources needed to deliver clean air for all.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Scottish Government press release ‘Tackling air pollution (6/11/18) https://news.gov.scot/news/tackling-air-pollution
  2. Research shows 2500 deaths a year in Scotland from air pollution https://foe.scot/press-release/new-research-means-2500-deaths-a-year-in-scotland-are-from-air-pollution/
  3. Scottish Environment LINK’s Letter of Resignation to the Cleaner Air for Scotland Governance Group (March 2018) https://foe.scot/resource/link-resignation-cafsgg-letter/
  4. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
    * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
    * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
    * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.