Air quality objectives and standards in Britain follow those set by the EU (to 31st December 2020), meanwhile the WHO published new Global Air Quality Guidelines in 2021 here.
Repeated court decisions have determined breaches in Britain, and as a consequence DEFRA is obliging local authorities (England) to meet legal deadlines for improved air quality in hot spot areas. This is done via Local Air Quality Management (also an EU legacy).
Clean Air Zones are sometimes the result. In addition to the Low and Ultra Low Emission Zones in London, three Clean Air Zones are established in England. The Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone is delayed.
Information on Clean Air Zones is here. Note, there can be different types of Clean Air Zones.
Information on the London Zones is here. Note, London operates a Congestion Charge Zone, a Low Emission Zone and an Ultra Low Emission Zone.
Scotland is planning Low Emission Zones in 2022 – information is here.
The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement (an international agreement) is overseen by a Joint Committee of the parties. This Joint Committee holds regular meetings, the last meeting was in June 2021. Specialised Committees operate under the auspices of the Joint Committee, these also meet regularly. The last meeting of the Specialised Committee for the Withdrawal Agreement Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol was in September 2021. The EU tracks these meetings here. The UK tracks these meetings here. You will notice that the statements made re the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol are not Joint Statements. This is the case also re Gibraltar.
The next meeting of the Joint Committee is next week, but the agenda is not published.
Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Executive is not operating (this has happened before). An executive order to stop checks on goods moving from Britain to Northern Ireland is stayed by the Northern Ireland High Court pending a decision of a Judicial Review of that order due early March (in 2021 the Northern Ireland High Court quashed a similar order). Also May is a month in which elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly are scheduled.
In advance of the Joint Committee meeting next week, Irish and EU representatives are discussing matters with Northern Ireland political parties, business and civil society representatives. Checks on goods moving between Britain and Northern Ireland are continuing. In the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, civil servants will attend the Joint Committee.
The Joint Committee may also consider other matters (the Withdrawal Agreement has other protocols, and five Specialised Committees). The agenda will give more information.
I will update this post (on the blog platform) after the Joint Committee meeting.