Taking a breath of air is such an instinctive human reaction that we rarely pause to consider how clean our air is, or how clean it could or should be. The quality of the air we breathe is linked to human and ecosystem health, wellbeing, economic productivity and healthcare costs, climate and environmental amenity.

The latest science is now able to characterise the particles and gases in our air in great detail, but also detect pollutant fingerprints that can unequivocally identify emission sources – and hence inform policies to deliver cleaner air. It can also quantify the burden from poor air quality: around 30,000 premature deaths each year in the UK, and up to 7 million globally. This challenge represents a call for action – one which requires integrating insights ranging from technological interventions to governance solutions.

In the follow up from the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the University of Birmingham is pursuing research that matters, to address global environmental challenges, including clean air. How clean can our air be? Who is responsible in law – and who is not? Are electric vehicles the solution? How can natural solutions help? What are the secondary consequences of technical interventions?

This edited collection offers a comprehensive examination of the nexus between different disciplines that are important in addressing air pollution, as well as discussion on implementing innovative clear air solutions and their policy implications. Covering a diverse range of topics, including outdoor and indoor pollution, trees, vehicle design and compliance with legal rules on air quality, this collection presents contemporary research to inform evidence-based policy actions relevant to audiences beyond academia, in particular policy makers and industry.

In this publication, we explore some of these questions and many others. We hope that these briefing papers will not only inform the debate, but will also drive progress towards clean air for all, on scales ranging from the domestic to the global.
Original languageEnglish
TypeCollection of Policy Briefs
Media of outputText - Online
PublisherUniversity of Birmingham
Number of pages44
Place of PublicationBirmingham
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Cite as: Cavoski, A., Bartington, S., Bloss, W. and Bryson J. (Eds), Policy Solutions to the Clean Air Challenge, University of Birmingham, Birmingham.

This collection was supported by the University of Birmingham Institute for Global Innovation, through the Clean Air Theme, and with funding provided by the NERC Discipline Hopping Scheme under the Research England OR Scheme.


Dive into the research topics of 'Policy solutions to the clean air challenge'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this