Clean Air Act resources

Various reports about domestic wood burning

Research to understand burning in UK homes and gardens – AQ1017

Kantar report titled ‘Burning in UK Homes and Gardens’ (December 2020)

CAL 405 14972_Finalreport_BurninginUKhomesandgardens_Wood

Annexe A – UK domestic solid fuels use estimates paper


Debate in Parliament on 27 April 2021

Presentation to APPG on Air Pollution on 2 October 2019


Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) Regulations 2020 (7 October 2020)


Response to the consultation on the Planning White Paper

CAL 389 Response to Planning White Paper consultation 281020_V2 Redacted

Coronavirus COVID-19

HONG KONG Hamster study 190520

Climate change_Draft 20.01.19_V2

Agriculture Bill

CAL submission re Agriculture Bill 2019_180220

Environment Bill – proposed amendments

CAL 384 Clean air amendments for the Environment Bill 070620

Manifestos in December 2019

Conservative 2019 Manifesto (see pages 27/28, 42-43 and 55)

EU Fitness Check on Ambient Air Quality Directive (see pages 86 and 87 re ‘limit values’)

SWD_2019_427_F1_AAQ Fitness Check

Climate Change Act 2008 (updated for net-zero)


Proposals for Clean Air Bills

Geraint Davies MP (Labour) (22 November 2017): Clean Air Bill (supported by 120 parliamentarians)

Geraint Davies MP (Labour) (2 October 2019): Clean Air (No. 3) Bill

Clean Air (No. 3) Bill 2017-2019 (supported by MPs from all the main political parties)

Baroness Jenny Jones (Green) (5 July 2018 and 22 October 2019): Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill (supported by The Green Party)

London Councils and City of London (21 March and 22 October 2019): (Emissions Reduction (Local authorities in London) Bill

Chris Philp MP (Conservative) (3 September 2019): Clean Air (No. 2) Bill

Angela Burns AM (Welsh Assembly, Conservative)

Baroness Bryony Worthington (Labour) (2 October 2019): Air Pollution (Monitoring and Control) Bill

The second of these, introduced by Baroness Jones, defines a list of ‘Clean Air Enactments’ which could include the others i.e. existing and new powers.

Draft Clean Air (Health of Current and Future Generations) Act

CAA_New Clean Air Act_First draft 011220

Air Quality Bill (3 February 2021)

Environment Bill, National Emissions Ceilings Directive and Gothenburg Protocol

National Emissions Ceilings Directive has required the UK to reduce five air pollutants by 2020 and 2030 (since 2013) to protect health and the environment

NECD Karmenu Vella media release 141216 IP-16-4358_EN

CAL 360_NECD Gothenburg Protocol ammonia NH3 1703161205_GB_IIR_2017_Final_v1.0

NECD 2020_NH3 and PM2.5 on page 344_GB_IIR_2020_v1.0

NECD Impact Assessment 2018_ukia_20180037_en

CAL 396 Response to Defra on NH3_260121_Scanned reduced

Environment Bill (15 October 2019)

Environment Bill 151019_20003

25 Year Environment Plan (11 January 2018 and 16 May 2019)

Clean Air Strategy (14 January 2019)

Timeline to date

1952 – 5 to 9 December 

The Great Smog


City of London (Various Powers) Act received Royal Assent on 5 July 1954


Clean Air Act received Royal Assent on 5 July 1956


Clean Air Act on 25 October 1968

Clean Air Act 1968


Clean Air Act 1993 received Royal Assent on 27 May 1993

Clean Air Act 1993



National Audit Office report titled ‘Air Quality’:

NAO Air_Quality_December 2009



Government launches Red Tape Challenge website:

Cabinet Office’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ consultation:

Clean Air in London’s response (21 September 2011) recommended 10 measures to update the Clean Air Act 1993 and related legislation:


5 February

Clean Air in London publishes briefing note titled ‘Updating the Clean Air Act for modern fuels and technologies’


Useful description of the Clean Air Act 1993 and 17 other regulations known still to be extant (sections 8, 9, 10 and 11) and experts’ views on next steps (sections 13 and 14).

“The overview from the meeting with four officers was that the Act was completely outdated and needed a full overhaul. All the terminology needed clarifying or modernising; there are problems with enforceability and proportionality; there are too many opt-outs from the dark smoke provisions; it would be better to provide for a warning system rather than a strict offence in relation to dark smoke; it might be possible to achieve some outcomes via the Building Regulations; and certain additional powers were sought. There was a strong view that the CAA might have a new lease of life with the expected growth of biomass burning, so now was the time to streamline and focus the legislation, not to scrap most of it.”

The Future of the Clean Air Act (Defra, March 2012)

Clean Air Act 1993: assessment

20 July

Defra AEA Report_Review of the effectiveness of measures in the Clean Air Act 1993_20 July 2012


Red Tape Challenge – Environment Theme Implementation Report (September 2012)

Page 7:

“Review the impact of the Clean Air Act and associated regulations and consult on findings. Defra will look to reduce burdens on business and local authorities (LAs) by identifying which measures are redundant and which can be modernised to a) help LAs meet EU air quality targets and b) help reduce costs for businesses.”

Page 9:

“Review the impact of the Clean Air Act, and consult on findings. Look to reduce burdens on business and local authorities by reviewing the Clean Air Act and associated regulations to identify which measures are redundant and which can be modernised to help local authorities meet EU air quality targets and help reduce costs for businesses. It is likely that more than one legislative vehicle will be used.”

4 December

Clean Air in London issues media release on 60th anniversary of Great Smog


3 September

Defra publishes ‘Call for Evidence – Review of the Clean Air Act’

Details no longer available

Impact Assessment

Streamlining Smoke Control Orders for exempt fireplaces and authorised fuels (Defra IA, 2013 or 2014?)

29 October

Clean Air in London’s response to the Call for Evidence – Review of the Clean Air Act



Review of the Clean Air Act – Call for Evidence Summary of Responses (Defra, July 2014)

Next Steps (on page 45):

“In addition to the above steps, the Clean Air Act is being amended via the new Deregulation Bill which is currently being debated in Parliament. The amendment will streamline and speed up the process for approving products for use in Smoke Control Areas, which will provide benefits to both industry and consumers. Defra are also undertaking a pilot project to develop a tool which will enable Local Authorities to digitise Smoke Control Area maps to assess the feasibility of creating a centralised United Kingdom map.”


Deregulation Act 2015


First reading of Geraint Davies MP’s Clean Air Bill 2016-17


First reading of Geraint Davies MP’s Clean Air Bill 2017-19


30 January 

Defra’s Call for Evidence – Domestic Burning of House Coal, Smokeless Coal, Manufactured Solid Wood and Wet Wood

Open fires and wood burning stoves (Defra, January 2018)

Call for evidence on domestic burning of house coal, smokeless coal, manufactured solid fuel and wet wood (Defra, January 2018)

Evidence background documentation (Defra, January 2018)

17 August

Defra’s Consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and woods

Consultation letter on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels (Defra, 17 August 2018)

Consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood (Defra, August 2018)

Domestic burning consultation Impact Assessment (Defra, May 2018)



Defra’s Summary of responses on the draft Clean Air Strategy

The draft Clean Air Strategy Summary of Responses (Defra, January 2019)

14 January 

Defra’s finalised Clean Air Strategy published

Section 9.2.3 on pages 81 and 82:

“In summary, the current legislative framework has not driven sufficient action at a local level. In the Environment Bill, associated secondary legislation and statutory guidance, we will outline proposals that will address this. Options under consideration are:

● ensuring accountability sits at the right tier of the local government structure

● shifting the focus towards prevention, promoting greater action to avoid exceedances, rather than tackling air pollution only when limits are surpassed

● creating the concept of a ‘lead authority’ with requirements on neighbouring local authorities and other public bodies to work collectively to tackle air pollution

● requiring local authorities to create an action plan to reduce population exposure during Air Pollution Episodes to protect public health

● enabling greater local action on PM2.5 by updating the Smoke Control Area (SCA) framework

● enabling greater local action by improving guidance on the use of existing local powers, strengthening these powers where necessary and introducing new powers

● developing clear, effective guidance on how AQMAs, SCAs and Clean Air Zones (CAZs) interrelate and how they can be used by local government to tackle air pollution

“New legislation therefore will seek to shift this focus towards prevention. This will enable early action to be taken by local authorities to avoid exceedances against future targets set by national government. This new approach will be instrumental for the government to achieve its objective of improving public health and the environment.”

“We will enable greater local action by simplifying and updating the Smoke Control Area framework. The current Smoke Control Area framework is difficult to enforce and out of date. We will bring it into the 21st century with more flexible, proportionate enforcement powers. This will enable local authorities to enforce the law more effectively, tackling a key source of harmful PM2.5 emissions. The designation of Smoke Control Areas will also be made easier.

Local authorities have long had specific legal powers to tackle local air pollution, including to tackle exceedances under the local or national assessment regimes. They also have long- standing powers to tackle emissions from domestic chimneys and industrial sources. Alongside these specific obligations, strategic decisions on transport, planning and public health taken by local government all contribute to the quality of the air that people breathe in local communities. However we recognise that improvements are needed. Therefore, we will give local government new legal powers to tackle PM2.5 emissions from burning.

We will also ensure that existing powers for local government can be more easily used. Specifically:


● we will improve guidance on the use of existing powers to tackle industrial emissions where these are contributing to a current or future expected exceedance of air quality objectives.

● develop clear, effective guidance on how AQMAs, SCAs and Clean Air Zones (CAZs) interrelate and how they can be used by local government to tackle air pollution.

In addition, we will enable greater local action on air quality by:

●  consulting on transformative changes to the LAQM guidance, focusing on aligning the guidance to drive local action in accordance with the new framework set out in the Environment Bill

●  encouraging greater public transparency about local air quality to empower local citizens and the air quality decision-makers in their local communities

●  continuing to work with MHCLG to strengthen the planning practice guidance on air quality to ensure planning decisions help to drive improvements in air quality

●  facilitating the sharing of best practice and knowledge between local authorities through webinars and other digital media”

14 October 2019

Queen’s Speech

Queen_s_Speech_background_briefing 141019

15 October 2019 

New Environment Bill



Other resources:

Environmental Protection UK’s links on National Air Quality Law and Policy

APPG 021019_Final

CAA note_Version 1.7 on 021019

Recent updates

11 October 2019

C40 Cities commitment to the human right to clean air and a new coalition

12 October 2019

Healthy Air Campaign statement

Healthy Air Campaign – Clean Air and the Environment Bill briefing – final