Air Quality in Scotland


About the Inquiry

The Committee held an evidence session with experts and stakeholders on 2 May 2017 to consider the scale of the issue of air quality in Scotland and the robustness of Scottish plans to tackle this.

The Committee agreed to consider what, if any further action to take at a future meeting. On 6 June 2017 the Committee agreed to undertake an inquiry on air quality in Scotland.


Call for views - Air Quality in Scotland


The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, wants to hear from you on the Government’s strategy to tackle air quality in Scotland

Why is air quality important and what is the Government’s strategy?

Air quality represents the greatest environmental threat to human health and currently commands significant domestic and international interest. Elevated pollution levels, usually located in urban areas with high volumes of road traffic, have been associated with a number of health issues, including heart disease and lung cancer. Air pollution can also have damaging effects on the environment and crop productivity. The sources of air pollution are distributed across many sectors, including transport, agriculture and energy industries.

The Scottish Government published a strategy for tackling air pollution in Scotland in 2015 – “Cleaner Air for Scotland: the road to a healthier future” which sets targets for Scotland. Since the strategy was launched the EU has introduced a new directive to reduce air pollution and there has been a High Court judgement in relation to the adequacy of the UK response. The Scottish Government published the 2016 CAFS Progress Report on 15 June 2017.

How to respond

The Committee would like to hear your views on the following questions:

  • Does Scotland have the right polices (Clean Air for Scotland Strategy), support and incentives in place to adequately tackle air pollution?
  • Are the policies sufficiently ambitious?
  • Are the policies and delivery mechanisms (support and incentives) being effectively implemented and successful in addressing the issues?
  • Are there conflicts in policies or barriers to successful delivery of the air quality objectives? 


  • How does the Scottish policy fit with the UK and EU policy on air quality?
  • Are the powers and resources of Local Authorities and SEPA to address air pollution adequate?
  • Is Scotland on target to have a pilot low emission zone (LEZ) in place by 2018 and should there be more than one LEZ pilot?
  • How should the improvement of air quality be prioritised in areas where there have been persistent breaches of NO2 limit values?
  • Is adequate consideration given to air pollution from agriculture?

Before responding, please read our policy, Parliament’s policy on handling information received in response to calls for evidence, and note the following—

  • Please keep your written response as concise as possible – ideally no more than 4 sides of A4; the written response should be provided electronically in word processing format (eg MS Word) using the attached template (please do not send PDFs or confirmatory hard copies).  
  • Written Submissions Template (doc 32 KB)
  • Please send responses to:
  • The Committee welcomes written evidence in English, Gaelic or any other language.
  • Owing to the timescale required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the advance agreement of the Committee Convener.

If you wish to make a hard copy submission, please address it to—

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee
Room T3.40
The Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP 

The deadline for responses is Friday 18 August 2017.

What happens next? 

The Committee will take oral evidence on the inquiry at Committee meetings in the autumn of 2017
The Committee will then publish a report of its views on the inquiry to the Scottish Parliament before the end of the year.

On behalf of the Committee, thank you for your assistance.

Andy Proudfoot
Senior Assistant Clerk
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee
0131 348 5221

Read written submissions on Air Quality in Scotland


The Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform at the launch of its call for evidence to seek further information on the implementation of the Scottish Government's Cleaner Air for Scotland: the road to a healthier future strategy.