Air pollution can be harmful to everyone; however, some people are more affected than others. My Department has commissioned research into inequalities of exposure to air pollution, and monitors emerging evidence investigating air-quality impacts on BAME communities. That research has shown that those BAME groups are disproportionately affected by poor air quality, partly because larger numbers of BAME people live in urban areas where air pollution tends to be worse.
I am the MP for one of those urban areas where black and ethnic minority constituents are disproportionately affected by both covid-19 and air quality. Has the Secretary of State held recent discussions with his colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care? Will he make a statement about specific actions that will be taken on this issue?
Of course we talk with our colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on all matters relating to air quality in some urban areas. We intend to take action through the Environment Bill by setting new targets on air quality. One of the targets that we are investigating relates to the impact on particular populations in particular areas.