Welsh Government unveils plans for a Clean Air Bill

New laws could include a ban on coal burning and wet wood restrictions

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The Welsh Government has published a White Paper setting out its plans for a Clean Air (Wales) Bill and featuring a consultation that could see burning traditional house coal banned and further restrictions placed on the burning of wet wood – two of the most polluting forms of solid fuel used in households in Wales.

It is currently estimated that poor air quality contributes to a reduced life expectancy and death, tallying an equivalent of between 1,000 and 1,400 mortalities in Wales each year.

The White Paper is the next stage in the process of creating a Clean Air (Wales) Act, with consultation on the White Paper due to run until 7 April.

The UK government has already committed to phasing out the sale of coal and wet wood for domestic burning across England by 2023.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said:

“Breathing clean air and having access to a healthy environment is a right, not a privilege. We must take decisive and lasting action now to enable our future generations to lead healthy lives.

“Welsh Government’s number one priority remains keeping our communities safe and supporting families and businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“But just like COVID, air pollution disproportionately impacts the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society. We know from the report published today that the situation is not straight forward. I welcome views from the public, academics, charities and businesses alike, to help us paint a clear picture of how we will improve our air quality and collaboratively build our path to a greener and healthier Wales.”

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