health & social care
local government
voluntary sector

3rd Annual Tackling Air Pollution Forum

health & social care

local government

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Events @N. 6, Central London

This Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to explore the latest policy updates from leading stakeholders on national and local plans to improve and comply with air quality standards across the UK. Attendees will hear from The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs’ Air Quality Group, the British Lung Foundation, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and London Councils on measures being implemented to successfully reduce air pollution. In addition to this, best practice case studies will share guidance on the most innovative and effective ways to reduce and control air pollution including embracing new technology to reduce air pollution, developing town planning strategies and promoting the use of greener transport.


This Forum is designed for Local Authorities including:

  • Directors of Public Health
  • Directors of Environment and Research
  • Climate Change Managers
  • Councillors
  • Senior Transport Planners
  • Sustainable Business Leads
  • Town Planners
  • Environmental Monitoring Officers
  • Air Quality Managers
  • Heads of Innovation
  • Heads of Public Affairs
  • Research and Sustainability Leads

The Forum is also open to the Health, Voluntary and Private Sector organisations to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Professor Paul Monks, Chairman, DEFRA Air Quality Group
  • Tony Higgins, Member – Environmental Protection Advisory Panel, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
  • Katharina Winbeck, Head of Transport, Environment and Infrastructure, London Councils
  • Alison Cook, Director of External Affairs, British Lung Foundation
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Dr Audrey De Nazelle, Senior Lecturer- Faculty of Natural Sciences, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Examining the Government’s Progress in Tackling Air Pollution

  • Highlighting the role of the Air Quality Expert Group in supporting DEFRA through science advice to improve air quality, such as through the “The Potential AQ Impacts of Biomass Burning” report and evidencing the need to discourage homes from burning wood
  • Outlining the key features of the governments ‘Clean Air Strategy 2019’and the challenges contained for local authorities in the near term
  • Exploring challenges when working to achieve reductions in air pollution locally exploring past successes and practical implications for the future

Professor Paul Monks, Chairman, DEFRA Air Quality Group (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Measures to Tackle Air Pollution at the Local Authority Level

  • Outlining the national context on tackling air pollution by examining the legislation, national air quality strategy and funding
  • Analysing the regional context on tackling toxic air by exploring the Low and Ultra Low Emission Zones designed to reduce traffic-induced pollution
  • Exploring other public sector schemes such as Low Emission Neighbourhoods, Neighbourhoods of the Future and Liveable Neighbourhoods in London which have varying degrees of funding to develop infrastructure to support walking, cycling and EVs among other measures
  • Providing updates on community initiatives, such as the ‘Science in the City’ initiative, a community based, citizen science air quality monitoring project which resulted in 82% of respondents suggesting they would make changes to reduce their personal exposure to air pollution as a result
  • Sharing the outcomes from the 2019 London Councils Air Quality Polling such as Londoner’s attitudes and awareness of air pollution

Katharina Winbeck, Head of Transport, Environment and Infrastructure, London Councils (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Collaborating to Deliver a Robust Clean Air Strategy: A Local Authority Perspective

  • Outlining how 13 local councils across Sussex established a joint approach to tackle air pollution across the region, pooling capital and sharing resources to increase efficiency and improve outcomes
  • Analysing the challenges of partnership working such as differing priorities across separate councils and resolving this through the air quality group regularly meeting and refining priorities of the joint plan
  • Exploring the success of the ‘Breathing Better: a partnership approach to improving air quality in West Sussex
  • Showing how West Sussex County Council has reduced carbon emissions by 46% from a baseline set in 2011/12 and advising others to take inspiration from sustainability strategies of large businesses

Louise Goldsmith, Leader, West Sussex County Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Monitors, Modelling and Mobilisation - Delivering Healthier Air For Leicester

  • Reviewing progress in implementing recommendations from the 2018 Government-funded scheme to tackle air pollution such as updating 400 buses with technology to reduce emissions
  • Learning from the ‘Leicester’s Air Quality Action Plan’ including the low emission strategy ‘LestAir’ which set future targets for low emission behaviours such as a 3% reduction annually
  • Advising other councils on how to reduce air pollution through working with local organisations to plant the most pollutant absorbing trees and plants and using ‘Green Walls’
  • Demonstrating how to ensure a successful Air Quality Action Plan through an Air Quality Action Plan Board who oversees the development and delivery of the plan

Councillor Adam Clarke, Deputy City Mayor – Environment and Transportation, Leicester City Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Demonstrating How a Fleet Strategy has Supported the 'Air Quality Action Plan'

  • Sharing guidance on how councils can encourage partners to use renewable biofuel in their vehicles, which has seen Hackney cut CO2 production by 25% in a year
  • Highlighting how to develop an electric fleet and fleet only charging infrastructure with the aim to be entirely electric-based in the future
  • Demonstrating how the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) can be used as a transition fuel until full electric is used in vehicles
  • Outlining the key challenges in developing a successful fleet strategy such as the challenge of developing charging infrastructure

Winner of the Vehicle Fleet Air Quality Initiative of the Year Award at the National Air Quality Awards 2018

Norman Harding, Corporate Fleet Manager, London Borough of Hackney (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Assessing the Health Consequences of Air Pollution and Outlining a Future Trajectory for Change

  • Presenting updates on the effects air pollution have on human lungs such as 40,000 early deaths as a result, explaining how pollution affects children’s lungs and who is most at risk from toxic air
  • Analysing the 2018 ‘Toxic air at the doors of the NHS’ report which outlines key findings on the effect of air pollution on patients and hospitals across the UK including 2,000 health centres being in highly polluted areas
  • Highlighting key recommendations from the report including adopting the World Health Organisation’s limit for PM2.5 into UK Law through the Environment Bill and investing in air quality monitoring for areas where vulnerable individuals gather
  • Providing a summary of thoughts on the government’s ‘The Clean Air Strategy’ including the need for a commitment to ensure no one is exposed to toxic air
  • Assessing the three key areas of improvement the BLF are campaigning for including Clean Air Zones in more areas across the UK, new laws on safe limits of pollution and better monitoring outside schools and hospitals

Alison Cook, Director of External Affairs, British Lung Foundation (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Demonstrating How to Tackle Air Pollution Beyond the Clean Air Strategy

  • Exploring the role of CIEH in setting and raising environmental standards by working with communities and policymakers, for instance by lobbying for ring-fenced funding for local authorities to tackle air quality
  • Analysing the ‘Clean Air Strategy’ and focusing closely on intervention strategies
  • Assessing some of the key drivers of tackling air pollution including renewable heat and tackling carbon
  • Outlining the legislative options for control including a focus on a new ‘Clean Air Act’

Tony Higgins, Member – Environmental Protection Advisory Panel, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Reducing Air Pollution Through New Technology and Partnership Working: Updates from the Automotive Industry

  • Exploring the evolution of air quality improvements from road transport through analysing over 40 years of motoring
  • Analysing partnerships with local authorities, governments and other businesses to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles
  • Outlining how the future of mobility will look with consideration for reducing air pollution
  • Highlighting the industry challenge to meet governments ambitions in the ‘Road to Zero’ Strategy and in the Committee on Climate Change ‘Net Zero’ report

Sukky Choongh-Campbell, Environmental Manager – Air Quality and Ultra Low Emission Vehicles, The Society Of Motor Manufacturers And Traders (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Effectively Reducing Air Pollution Through Best Practice Project Delivery

  • Exploring the ‘Enjoy Waltham Forest’ project which aims to reduce air pollution through the creation of 22km of segregated cycle lanes, 100+ improved pedestrian crossing, 15 pocket parks and planting of 660 trees
  • Highlighting key challenges of the project which was met with resistance by local groups and overcoming this by commissioning research which demonstrated that life expectancy increased if the project was implemented
  • Drawing on the benefits of the project including the ability to use collected data to concentrate efforts in a specific area in future, such as findings that 14% of emissions between 8-9am being accounted for by the school run allowing for concentration on collaborating with schools in future
  • Outlining key steps in taking the project forward such as working in partnership with TfL and LEDNet to secure the resources and support to encourage the creation of more projects

Michele Moloney, Strategic Director- Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services, Waltham Forest Council (CONFIRMED)

David Beach, Director of Regulatory Services, Waltham Forest Council (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Clean Air Cut-Through – Learning How One Charity Can Inspire Action on Air Quality

  • From campaign creation to a reach of 2 billion: How one environmental charity put the UK’s largest air pollution awareness campaign on the map and the calendar, convening a group of over 250 organisations such as the Royal College of Physicians, Highways England, Defra, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UNICEF, and seeing a campaign message reach of 2 billion since Clean Air Day began in 2017
  • Accelerating the transition to electric: How the Clean Van Commitment is empowering the UK’s largest fleet operators to have a zero tailpipe emission van fleet by 2028 and how transport, local government and other sectors can achieve this
  • Fresh air for the UK’s most polluted hospitals: How Global Action Plan worked in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital to create the Clean Air Hospital Framework, and how hospitals everywhere can now access a freely available resource to create cleaner air for their staff, patients, neighbours and local environment

Chris Large, Senior Partner, Global Action Plan (GAP) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

Research by the World Health Organisation estimates that 4.2 million deaths annually are as a result of exposure to air pollution. Furthermore, a study conducted by the journal Environmental Research revealed that fine particles and other exhaust pollutants are known to cause inflammation in the brain, resulting in children from polluted areas being 7% more likely to experience anxiety. 

In January 2019, the government published the ‘Clean Air Strategy 2019’, as part of its commitment to cut air pollution in half by 2030 and achieve zero emission for all road vehicles by 2050. The strategy outlines further support for local authorities to improve air quality standards through a £255 million ‘Implementation Fund’ to drive action in improving air quality, and a £220 million ‘Clean Air Fund’ to aid them in minimising the impact of their local plans on individuals and businesses. Furthermore, over £3 million of government funding has been provided to 28 innovative projects to improve air quality across English local authorities. Examples include London Borough of Hackney who has received £178,950 towards a project which expands the Zero Emissions Network across the Borough and West Sussex County Council who are working in partnership with 13 authorities in Sussex and have received £32,716 towards delivering a collaborative ‘Breathing Better‘ strategy. In addition, in November 2018 Public Health England published their guidance ‘Health Matters: Air Pollution’. Crucially, it sets out that long-term contact with man-made air pollution in the UK has the annual effect equivalent to circa 36,000 deaths.  Escalating this issue further, from June 2019, the Government has set new targets to tackle climate change including cutting Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to almost zero by 2050, which led to the amendment of the Climate Change Act 2008.

In 2019, the Government is working with over 60 Local Authorities in England and has placed legal duties on them to tackle nitrogen dioxide issues in their local area. Although these legal duties are underpinned by £495 million in funding, local authorities must learn how to use this funding sustainably and effectively. This is especially because, by the end of 2019, all local authorities are required to have conducted studies and, where necessary, generated or be generating bespoke plans tailored to the nature of the nitrogen dioxide issue in their local authority.

Considering the above legal duties on local authorities, an increasing focus on air pollution and its link to damaging public health and a new target to cut Greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, it is vital that local authorities come together and work alongside the transport, voluntary and private sector to develop a robust and environmentally sustainable local strategy to improve air quality across the UK. Failure to do so will see inescapable exposure inflicted upon people living in highly polluted areas and cause further damage to the environment.

Dr Audrey De Nazelle, Senior Lecturer- Faculty of Natural Sciences, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London

Audrey de Nazelle is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London. Her work, at the intersection of environmental sciences, health behaviour, transportation, and urban planning aims at guiding decision-makers towards health-promoting built environments and policies. Much of her research in the past fifteen years has been on the relationships between active travel and air pollution in terms of exposures, health risks and benefits, and societal engagement. Dr de Nazelle holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Environmental Sciences, a Maîtrise in Mathematics from the University of Paris VI Pierre et Marie Curie, and was a postdoctoral researcher at ISGLOBAL (formerly the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology), Barcelona, Spain.

Professor Paul Monks, Chairman, DEFRA Air Quality Group

Paul Monks is a Professor in Atmospheric Chemistry and Earth Observation Science at the University of Leicester and currently Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Science and Engineering.  His research experience covers the broad areas of air quality, atmospheric composition and climate change. Paul is the chair of the Defra Air Quality expert group that provides independent science advice on air quality as well as a member of the Defra Science Advisory Council.   He is the European representative on the Environmental Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry Scientific Steering Committee (EPAC SSC) of the World Meteorological Organisation and ICACGP (International commission on atmospheric chemistry and global pollution).  Further, he sits on the Satellite Applications Catapult advisory group, the Royal Society Global Environmental Research Committee and NERC audit committee. He has just finished a term as co-chair of the IGBP-International Global Atmospheric Chemistry program and NERC council.

Katharina Winbeck, Head of Transport, Environment and Infrastructure, London Councils

Katharina Winbeck is an environmental and social scientist, specialising in developing major public initiatives. She worked in health, housing, regeneration, environmental & major projects planning and transport. For the past twelve years she has been developing sustainability, environment, transport and infrastructure policy. She has worked for the NHS, three London Boroughs, Transport for London, the Audit Commission and now for London Councils. Katharina is passionate about London and environmental sustainability.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader, West Sussex County Council

Louise Goldsmith has been Leader of West Sussex County Council since May 2010. She has lived in West Sussex for more than 33 years and was first elected onto the County Council in 2001 representing the Chichester West division. Louise worked in the finance and banking industry and for a time had her own business as an Independent Adviser. Her time is now taken up with County Council work. Louise sits on several Boards. She is on the Local Government Association, a Board Member of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, and a Board Member of Chichester Harbour Conservancy. She has two children who were educated locally in Chichester, now following their own careers, and she has a great interest in all local issues. Her interests outside of the County Council are the countryside and the environment, walking, gardening, reading, yoga, the theatre and opera.

Chris Large, Senior Partner, Global Action Plan (GAP)

Chris guides Global Action Plan’s ambitions to enable organisations and the public to minimise their contribution, and exposure, to air pollution. He is the architect of the Clean Van Commitment, leading a collective commitment from some of the UK’s largest fleet operators to have a zero tailpipe emission van fleet by 2028.  Chris also led the creation of the Clean Air Day initiative, convening a group of 200 supporter organisations to mobilise action on air pollution across the country. Supporters include the Royal College of Physicians, Highways England, Defra, Great Ormond Street Hospital, UNICEF and the authorities of the UK’s largest cities.   In 2018 Clean Air Day had a reach of 990 million, with 1,750 press, TV and radio items and 550 events across the country. The campaign trended on Twitter, and 2,000 organisations actively participated in improving the public’s understanding of air quality matters. (Clean Air 2019 is happening tomorrow and we will have updated figures on this later this week.)

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