Cooling Towers next to wind turbines.

Defra announces £2m Air Quality Grant

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced another £2m of funding that local councils can bid for.

The funding is for councils to improve air quality in their region under the Air Quality Grant Scheme.

The Air Quality Grant Scheme has awarded almost £65m to a variety of projects that benefit schools, business and wider communities.

As a result of these projects levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) – particles or liquid droplets in the air which present the greatest risk to public health – have reduced by 9% since 2010, and levels of nitrogen dioxide from vehicles are now at their lowest levels since records began.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:  

“Air pollution, and in particular PM2.5, carries enormous risks to human health which is why we are continuing to provide funding to local authorities to help them take action. This is part of delivering on the ambition in our world-leading Clean Air Strategy to halve the harm to human health from air pollution by 2030.

“We know that Local Authorities are in the best position to address the issues they face in their areas and we look forward to receiving ideas for ways to reduce emissions and promote cleaner, greener alternatives.”

Defra is calling for applications to focus on long-term solutions to the problem of PM2.5, with an emphasis on changing behaviour.

Applications for the grant open from today (Sept 2) and close at 12pm on 14 October 2020.

This funding is in line with Defra’s Clean Air Strategy, which has been praised as ‘an example for the rest of the world to follow’ by the World Health Organisation.

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