ADD2049 The EU Legislative Framework for Air Quality

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
08 November 2016
Decision by: 
Patrick Feehily, Assistant Director, Environment

Executive summary

London has been invited to be part of the European Commission’s Urban Partnership Agenda, which brings together cities, member states and the Commission to focus on urban policy issues. 
The group is initially focusing on air quality. Each entity involved leads a work stream: London’s is mapping EU air quality legislation, identifying significant gaps and making recommendations to plug them. This will look beyond urban sources (e.g. agriculture, because of its contribution to transboundary pollution) hence consultancy support is required to complete the work. There is another work stream led by the EU Joint Research Centre which looks at EU-wide air pollutant concentrations which is an input into our work. 
The end result of this project will hopefully be further EU, national and city efforts to tackle air pollution which will help tackle transboundary affecting London.


The Assistant Director approves to commit £15,000 from the EU bids support budget to tender and appoint a consultancy company to undertake three activities: 
•    Complete a scoping exercise identifying EU legislation on all regulated pollutants and major emissions sources; 
•    Making a detailed analysis for the most important pollutants and emission sources making recommendations on changes to existing EU legislation; and
•    Understand why cities still exceed EU legal limits even in the cases where the EU has notionally legislated to provide tools, funding or to take action to improve air quality.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA is a member of the Urban Agenda Partnership. This is a grouping of the European Commission, member states and European cities who are working together to address urban air quality issues. More information on the partnership is provided below. 

1.2    The group is initially focusing on air quality and wants to understand what more can be done to improve air quality by further action at the EU level. To do this four work streams have been created. The GLA is leading work stream 2 and requires consultancy support to fulfil its commitments under this action. 

1.3    Work stream 2 relates to mapping the existing regulatory and funding structure in place at the European level, identify where gaps or contradictions may exist and how these could be resolved. Case studies will be used to illustrate the effect of these gaps or contradictions. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The GLA is seeking the services of a consultant to complete the activities listed below. Consultants are invited to make alternative proposals if they have other suggestions for the best way of completing this work:

2.2    Stage 1: Scoping exercise identifying EU legislation on all pollutants and sources (first two months). This is meant to create a general overview that forms the basis for choosing where to focus the more detailed analysis.

2.3    Stage 2: Undertake a more detailed analysis for the most important pollutants and sources as identified in stage 2 (second two months), making specific recommendations about changes that need to be made to rectify any deficiencies. 

2.4    Stage 3: After Stages 1 and 2 are complete, the partnership will choose three cities for case studies which trace the impact of EU legislation and funding (including the impact of a lack of EU legislation and funding) on achieving compliance in the real world. The consultants will need to use the outputs of action 1 to identify why cities still exceed EU legal limits even in the cases where the EU has notionally legislated to provide tools, funding or to take action to improve air quality. It should also include an analysis of the interaction between EU and national legislation on air quality to determine how this positively or detrimentally affects the ability of cities to achieve compliance, and to make associated recommendations (final two months).

Equality comments

3.1    This project won’t have any detrimental impact on those with protected characteristics. Ensuring that this work is done will help tackle inequality caused by air pollution.  


Other considerations

4.1    The work is in line with the Air Quality strategy for London. Under the GLA Act 1999 the Mayor of London has legal responsibility for preparing an Air Quality Strategy for London (now subsumed within the London Environment Strategy) and leads on the implementation of measures in the capital to tackle pollution emissions, reduce exposure, raise awareness and integrate air quality and public health. 

4.2    Working collaboratively with European partners to tackle transboundary pollution is important because sources outside London make the largest contribution to the estimated mortality burden from long term exposure to PM2.5 in London as a whole, as well as being responsible for the majority of health effects associated with short term exposure to air pollution in London. 75% of the cardiovascular hospital admissions associated with PM2.5 result from sources outside London.

Financial comments

5.1    The Assistants Director’s approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £15,000 for consultants to produce a report on EU legislative framework for air quality. The cost of this work will be funded from Environments European Funded Project 2016-17 Budget.

5.2    As this work relates to consultancy contract, officers have to ensure that the requirements of the Authority’s Contract & Funding Code are adhered to and that the requirements relating to consultancy services within the Authority’s Financial Regulations and Expenses & Benefits Framework are adhered to.

5.3    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications, will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Issue of Request for Proposal           

14 November 2016

Deadline for Bidder Clarifications

21 November 2016

Deadline for responses to Bidder Clarifications

25 November 2016

Deadline for receipt of Tender

2 December 2016

Award subject to contract    

7 December  2016

Inception meeting

9 December 2016


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