Wales Clean Air Plans

14 April 2023

In March, the Welsh Government published The Environment (Air Quality and Soundscapes) (Wales) Bill, making progress in its plans to implement measures to improve air quality.

The Bill was introduced to the Senedd on Monday 20 March, giving the Welsh Government greater ability to tackle air and noise pollution and is part of a package of measures to improve the quality of the air environment in Wales.

Welsh Government has said The Bill is a key step in bringing forward measures that will contribute to improvements in the quality of the air environment in Wales and reduce the impacts of air pollution on human health, biodiversity, the natural environment and the economy.

Some key areas identified in the Bill include:

  • providing a framework for setting national air quality targets;
  • amend existing legislation relating to:
    • the national air quality strategy,
    • local air quality management,
    • smoke control,
    • trunk road charging schemes; and
    • vehicle idling;
  • place a duty on Welsh Ministers to promote awareness of air pollution;
  • place a duty on Welsh Ministers to publish a national soundscape strategy, and
  • give the Welsh Ministers a power to amend existing legislation relating to noise.

Climate Change Minister Julie James said: “Our Programme for Government sets out a commitment to introduce a Clean Air Bill for Wales and I am delighted we have reached the first stage in our legislative journey which will lead the way to a cleaner, healthier and greener future.

“The scale and scope of the Bill reflects our commitment to improving the quality of our air environment at a Wales-wide level, at a local and regional level and throughout society.”

Woodsure CEO Bruce Allen comments on the developments:

We have been working with Welsh government as part of the domestic combustion group for some time now and welcome the introduction of The Bill. With legislation now well established in England, we hope this legislation in Wales can reflect the positive work already undertaken and really make changes to air quality whilst reflecting the importance of domestic burning for many householders who rely on stoves as an affordable source of heating. HETAS and our registered businesses are ready to support changes in legislation.”

Back in 2020, Welsh Government introduced its Clean Air Plan and in the following year launched its domestic combustion consultation, supporting a wider consultation on the Clean Air Bill. Consultation responses on the Clean Air Bill were published earlier in the year, with a wide range of air quality proposals, including domestic combustion to be further developed. 

Woodsure and HETAS remain fully committed to working across various government departments and devolved administrations to promote the safe and effective use of solid fuel, wood and biomass.


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