APPG on Air Pollution 15th January 2020 – Minutes of AGM and APPG Meeting

Annual General Meeting
Geraint Davies welcomed attendees and thanked the panel for taking part.
Geraint Davies was re-appointed as Chairman of the APPG on Air Pollution with unanimous support. The appointments of officers and Vice-chairman were as follows.

John McNally – (Vice Chair)
Helen Hayes MP – (Vice Chair)
Dr Dan Poulter MP – (Vice Chair)
Karen Buck MP – (Vice Chair)
Claudia Webbe – (Vice Chair)
Baroness Jones of Mouslecoomb – (Vice Chair)

APPG meeting
Chairman welcomed the appointment of Vice-Chairman and returning officers to the first APPG meeting of 2020 and introduced the panel of speakers.

Professor Steven Holgate
Stephen is Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton, with a research interest in the mechanisms of asthma and allergy. He has over 1,000 peer-reviewed publications and an h-index of 157. He has been President of the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology, the British Thoracic Society and is currently President of the British Association for Lung Research and the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum.

He has been Chair of the MRC Population & Systems Medicine Board, the MRC Translational Research Group, a member of the MRC and NERC Strategy Boards, and chaired the Main Panel A (Medical & Life Sciences) of Research Excellence Framework 2014. Stephen chaired the UK Government Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, the Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards, the Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee and was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

Greg Archer
Greg has been with T&E since 2012. He was previously the director of Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, a UK public-private partnership promoting the shift to clean vehicles and fuels. He has also worked as a non-executive director for the UK Government’s Renewable Fuels Agency and Cenex, a centre of excellence for low carbon technologies.

Having led T&E’s clean vehicles program for six years, Greg now heads up our campaigns in the UK. A chemist by training, Greg describes himself as a “pragmatic environmentalist”.

Kate Harrison
Has represented individuals and groups in a number of public interest cases, including judicial reviews, (for example, challenging government policy on nuclear power, the government’s decision to support a 3rd runway at Heathrow and to pursue HS2), other High Court cases (for example representing Labour Party members who were denied a vote in the 2016 leadership contest), Information Tribunal hearings (for example whether the Duchy of Cornwall is a public authority and the meaning of “environmental information”), the European Court of Justice and other international fora (including the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea and the Aarhus Compliance Committee). In 2014 she was picked for her litigation skills in the “Lawyer Hot 100”.

Stephen Holgate Presentation
The Chairman thanked Steven Holgate for an interesting presentation looking at the effects of indoor air pollution. The Chairman also highlighted that the government has announced 40 million pounds to tackle air pollution and would like to see more done to tackle this issue.

Greg Archer Presentation
The Chairman thanked Greg Archer for the presentation and mentioned the need for a ‘Clean Air Bill’ to be adopted into government’s environment bill. The Chairman referred to enforcement in the clean air bill and raised revenue from fines should go towards the NHS and to Local Authority budgets.

Kate Harrison Presentation
The Chairman thanked Kate Harrison for the presentation and moved to the public session of the agenda.

Public session key points:
Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah (Co-Founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation) – Monitoring of air pollution by government agencies and Local Authorities is ‘woeful’. There is no detailed reference to health in the government’s Environment Bill.

Jenny Bates (Friends of the Earth campaigner)
The UK must work with its friends and partners around the world and be an international player on tackling Air Quality. Opportunity at COP26 to demonstrate to the world that progress has been made.

Claudia Webbe (MP for Leicester East)
Thanked Greg Archer for presentation and argues that more work needs to be done outside of London to tackle air quality from polluting vehicles, particularly with diesel vehicles and the impact of health on children.

The Chairman responded by saying a national campaign is needed. Greg Archer mentions that traffic is the main contributor to air pollution.

Kate Harrison – Local Authorities should be properly funded and given more control over highway networks outside of London in order to monitor and then control air pollution.

Steven Holgate made the closing statement
Opportunity for government’s chief scientists to present to the public the facts around air pollution.

The Chairman thanked speakers and members of the public for attending the first APPG on Air Pollution meeting 2020.