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About the Air Quality Expert Group 

AQEG is an expert committee of Defra and considers current knowledge on air pollution and provides advice on such things as the levels, sources and characteristics of air pollutants in the UK.

AQEG reports to Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser, Defra Ministers, Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Government and the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland (the government and devolved administrations).

Members of the group are drawn from those with a proven track record in the fields of air pollution research and practice.

Terms of reference

AQEG's function are to:

  • Provide advice to, and work collaboratively with: officials and key office holders in Defra and the Devolved Administrations; other delivery partners and public bodies; and EU and international technical expert groups;
  • Report to Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA): Chairs of expert committees will meet annually with the CSA; and will provide an annual summary of the work of the Committee to the Science Advisory Council (SAC) for Defra's Annual Report. In exception, matters can be escalated to Ministers;
  • Support the CSA as appropriate during emergencies;
  • Contribute to developing the air quality evidence base: analyse, interpret and synthesise evidence; provide judgements on quality and relevance; suggest priority areas for future work; and advise on Defra's implementation of the air quality evidence plan (or equivalent);
  • Give advice on current and future levels, trends, sources and characteristics of air pollutants in the UK;
  • Provide independent advice and operate in line with the Government's Principles for Scientific Advice and the Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees (CoPSAC).

Expert Committee Members are independent appointments made through open competition, in line with OCPA guidelines on best practice for making public appointments. Members are expected to act in accord with the principles of public life.

Work programme

A new work programme is currently being developed in consultation with the membership of AQEG, the AQEG Chair and members of both the evidence and policy teams at Defra.

About the members

Page last modified: 26 July 2017