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30 March 2023

Ricardo appointed by Welsh Government to support the development of Welsh national air quality targets

Ricardo is applying its world-leading expertise in air quality scenario modelling to help protect public health and the environment in Wales.

Ricardo, a global strategic environmental and engineering consulting company, has been appointed by the Welsh Government to support the development of Welsh national air quality targets.  This assessment of ambient air quality improvements that could be made under existing and anticipated multi-pollutant and cross-sector policies, will provide an underpinning evidence base for future air quality target proposals.

Clean air is a key priority for the Welsh Government, which is working towards ambitious commitments to introduce a Clean Air Act for Wales, taking into account the latest World Health Organisation guidance on the health risks of air pollution. An important aspect of the Clean Air Act for Wales will be the power to set legally binding air quality targets for the protection of public health and the environment in Wales. 

Ricardo’s work for the Welsh Government will help to achieve long-term ambitions for clean air in Wales and encourage actions that have mutual benefits, for example for decarbonisation, water quality, noise and biodiversity. Ricardo is working with officials and stakeholders to quantify the reduction in both emissions at source, and related reduction in pollutant concentrations across Wales between now and 2040. This will bring benefits for public health, the environment - including climate - and the economy.

Julia Pittman, Principal Consultant and Project Manager at Ricardo said: “Legislative targets need to be based on a robust, evidence-led, process. We are delighted that the Welsh Government recognises Ricardo’s pedigree in this area and our long history of providing governments with scientific evidence to support policy decisions.”

This project is the latest example of Ricardo supporting the Welsh Government in tackling air pollution. Since 2019 Ricardo has worked with the Welsh Government using the UK Government’s Scenario Modelling Tool to estimate the costs and benefits of the adoption of new abatement measures across all sectors, and addressing emissions of several key air pollutants.