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New Air Quality report from the Clean Air Fund and CBI

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A report from the Clean Air Fund and Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published today claims the UK economy would benefit by £1.6 billion annually by meeting World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for air pollution.

This report, which claims three million working days a year are lost in the UK due to air pollution, has been covered this morning by the Daily Mail, Guardian and Metro.

We already have ambitious and statutory national emission reduction commitments in place for five key air pollutants as well as legally binding concentration limits for other pollutants.

Our Environment Bill contains a framework for setting long-term environment targets, and legal duties to set these targets. On air quality specifically there is a duty to set a target for concentrations of PM2.5, which is the pollutant of greatest harm to human health.

Our £3.8bn Clean Air Strategy includes providing £880 million in funding and expert support to local authorities to improve air quality, and to introduce Clean Air Zones to further clean up the air we breathe.

A Defra spokesperson said:

The World Health Organization has praised our Clean Air Strategy as an example for the rest of the world to follow - and we continue to take robust and comprehensive action to tackle emissions in the UK.

But we know there is more to do, which is why through our landmark Environment Bill we have committed to setting ambitious targets to improve air quality in the long term - and address the concentration of damaging fine particulate matter.

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