One of my favourite songs is All I Need by Air.  It is a catchy song if you like 1990's French electro pop, but the combination of the song title and the band name is an important reminder what we do actually need to survive.

My colleague Jill Crawford recently chaired a session for the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association about the right to a healthy life.  A critical topic if we are to balance the right of people, businesses and the planet to ensure all our needs are met going forward, see also:

Today, however, DEFRA has launched a series of actions to improve air quality under the Environment Act.  Local authorities will be given a new framework to work towards improving air quality.

This new framework brings in Highways England as a 'Relevant Public Authority' placing a new legal duty on the authority to work with local authorities to meet the new air targets.

 Further changes are:

  • "A new requirement for local Air Quality Action Plans to include a timeline of clear actions that ensure Air Quality Objectives (pollution concentration limits) are met and air quality standards improve in local areas.
  • The requirement for an Air Quality Management Area to be declared within 12 months of identifying an exceedance of the air quality objectives to ensure that local councils develop Air Quality Actions Plans more quickly.
  • The requirement for local authorities to produce an Air Quality Action Plan within 18 months of declaring an Air Quality Management Area.
  • A new reminder and warning alert system to increase local council compliance with reporting on actions they are taking to improve air quality."

These changes are a positive step forward to controlling the air we breath.