Poor air quality is considered by the UK Government to be “the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK’. Air pollution impacts on human health,  as well as the natural environment and the economy. The ANTICIPATE project (‘Actively anticipating the unintended consequences on air quality of future public policies’) will bring together the multiple stakeholders involved in creating UK policies to review forthcoming policy initiatives for their consequences for air quality. Some will have clear links to air quality and there will be some whose impact is less obvious.  Some potential impacts will be perverse or beneficial or both.  Some implications will be unremarked or under emphasised.

The Government’s Clean Air Strategy outlines ambitions for tackling air pollution. The ANTICIPATE project intends to further the aims of the strategy by mobilising knowledge for stakeholders and enabling an open, accessible to all, dialogue. The guiding principal of the project is co-design, carried out by all those involved, from policy analysts and policy makers from UK Government, devolved administrations, local and regional authorities, business and civil society organisations, academics and researchers.

Beginning with a horizon scanning exercise, followed by scoping discussions with policy makers, the project team will identify suitable policies that are likely to have implications for air quality. To locate suitable case study policies, the team will review three core Government strategies: UK Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Strategy and the 25 Year Environment Plan, alongside the NHS Long Term Plan.

For each selected policy, workshops will be organised with participation from stakeholders to explore the policy proposals and their potential impacts on air quality.

Briefing papers will be produced stating conclusions from each individual policy exploration and distributed to stakeholders. A further project output will be a ‘Manual’ available online. The Manual will provide guidance on the appropriate use of methods for assessing the implications of future policy, bridging the gap between academic research and policy formation.

By the end of the project, ANTICIPATE aims to have embedded environmental impact considerations within the policy development lifecycle and supported delivery of the UK Clean Air Strategy.