Good air quality is essential for our health, quality of life and the environment. Air becomes polluted when it contains substances which can have a harmful effect on the health of people, animals and vegetation.  There are many sources of air pollution, including transport, energy generation and industry.

There are a variety of policies and laws designed to reduce air pollution and protect human health and the environment. These are at all levels of government, from global conventions, European legislation on emissions and air pollution, UK laws and policy initiatives at the local, regional and national level.

This section focuses on legislation to reduce emissions or air pollution levels, but there are other laws and policies which affect air pollution, where air quality is not its primary focus.  Recent examples include energy efficiency policies (which can reap significant air quality benefits) and energy generation (which have the potential to reduce or increase air pollution).

The following pages explore some of the key legislation and policy areas for air quality:

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