Clean Air Strategy and household emissions
As part of the Government’s Clear Air Strategy, we outlined a programme of work across government, industry and society to reduce emissions coming from a wide range of sources, inside and outside of the home. One of the emissions the Clean Air Strategy seeks to highlight and reduce is the emission of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) from domestic items, including cleaning products, perfumes and candles, which can be a significant source of indoor pollution.
The Government is not going to ban scented candles, but we do want to reduce the emissions of NMVOCs. We will work with industry, consumer groups and health organisations to raise awareness of the build-up of all NMVOCs in homes, exploring a voluntary labelling scheme on NMVOCs and promoting the development of lower-content products to improve the air we breathe indoors. We will also consult on changes to Building Regulation standards for ventilation in homes and other buildings to reduce these emissions.
Equally, it has been falsely reported that we are banning the sale of wood-burning and coal-burning stoves and fire places from 2022. Under the new strategy the Government will be working with industry to ensure that only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022 under Ecodesign regulations, and will introduce new legislations to prohibit the sale of the most polluting fuels.
Speaking about the new Strategy, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said:
Air pollution kills 7 million people globally every year, making it one of the largest and most urgent threats to global health of our time,
I applaud the United Kingdom’s Clean Air Strategy, which will not only help to protect the health of millions of people, but is also an example for the rest of the world to follow.
93.4% of Basic Payment Scheme claims paid in December
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) have reported their best performance in the first month of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payment window since the scheme started in 2015.
Payments during December were made to 93.4% of eligible claimants (78,787 in total) and were worth more than £1.57bn in total. They included a range of 2018 claim types and sizes.
RPA Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:
We fully appreciate how critical BPS payments are to farmers and their businesses. We have increased efforts to pay more people as early as possible and RPA teams have now landed more than £1.5 billion into farmers’ bank accounts. I’m very grateful to them for all their work so far.
We know there is more to do and that some farmers are still waiting for payments. We have written to everyone we were not able to pay in December and will continue to keep people up-to-date.
The RPA is on track to complete payments significantly ahead of the June 2019 deadline. Those claimants who have not been paid by the end of March will receive a bridging payment worth 75% of the value of their claim.