The climate crisis poses a range of challenges, not just to the UK, but to countries around the world. I appreciate the concerns over the health implications of climate change. However, I would like to reassure you that the Government is working hard to reduce these impacts.
Cross-departmental work is taking place to tackle some of the health implications of issues associated with climate change. Ministers have driven innovative solutions to improve air quality across a range of sectors, including funding local authorities to use innovative solutions to tackle air quality problems in their local areas through the Air Quality Grant scheme. The Government has more than doubled the funding paid to local authorities through the 2021/22 grant scheme to £11.6 million. Since 2010 more than £42 million has been awarded through the scheme, across almost 500 projects. £883 million has also been made available to affected local authorities to deliver cleaner transport and improve air quality.
To tackle the impacts of air pollution on public health, the UK Health Security Agency launched its Cleaner Air Programme to reduce people’s exposure, therefore tackling existing health inequalities, and improving outcomes for all. Furthermore, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs is currently conducting a holistic review of the way the Government communicates air quality information to the public. This will ensure the public is provided with timely and relevant information about air pollution, the actions people can take to limit their personal exposure, the impacts of air pollution on their health, and their own influence on air quality. The findings of the review will support the development of future public facing air quality information.
Finally, I will try my best attend the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change’s Online Briefing, Parliamentary business permitting.