The Government has today announced a new Clean Air Strategy designed to cut air pollution, save lives and leave our environment in a better state than we found it. It includes plans for primary legislation to create a new legal air quality framework and give local government new powers to take decisive action to cut air pollution.
The strategy focuses primarily on particulate matter, which affects breathing. The biggest contributor to this is the domestic burning of wood and coal which contributes 38% of UK emissions.
Local MP and Defra Minister, Therese Coffey said: "I'm pleased that my department has today launched our Clean Air Strategy designed to dramatically cut air pollution and improve people's health."
Therese added: "It is important that we do all we can to reduce the use of smokey coal and wet wood, which causes damaging particulate matter but keep smokeless coal and dry, seasoned wood. As a result, we will legislate to ensure only the cleanest domestic fuels and stoves will be available for sale."
The strategy will also focus on reducing ammonia from farming – which is responsible for 88% of ammonia emissions – by requiring farmers to invest in the infrastructure and equipment that will reduce emissions. Farmers will be supported to achieve this through the new system of public money for public goods.
The new strategy, which is now out for consultation, is a key part of our 25 Year Plan to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.
Therese attended the unveiling of the statue of Millicent Garrett-Fawcett in Parliament Square today, the woman who led the way through the suffragists to secure the vote for women 100 years ago.
Born in Aldeburgh, sister to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (who was the first ever woman Mayor in Britain in 1908), Millicent Fawcett is the first woman to have a statue erected in her honour in Parliament Square.
Therese said: "As the first female MP for Suffolk, I was very proud to attend the unveiling today. Gillian Wearing's beautiful sculpture gives Dame Millicent a permanent place in the very heart of our democracy that she fought so hard for women to participate in."
Therese added: "The colours of the suffragists - green, white and red - were prominent today, alongside the green, white and violet of the suffragettes.GWR denoted Give Women Rights, while the GWV was Give Women Votes."
"To have a daughter of Suffolk recognised in this way is really special and her presence I hope will act as an inspiration to us all."
At this week's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Theresa May announced the Government's intention to ban the sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds and called on other Commonwealth countries to join us.
In order to eliminate these items from use the Government will work with industry to develop alternatives and ensure there is sufficient time to adapt. Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda.
Therese said: "This builds on our 25-year environment plan where we said we would target the elimination of avoidable plastic waste.
The UK is also leading action with Vanuatu in encouraging other Commonwealth nations to step up action against plastics in the marine environment."
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