New chair appointed to Welsh Clean Air Advisory Panel

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change has appointed Professor Paul Lewis as the new Independent Chair of the Clean Air Advisory Panel (CAAP).

The panel provides evidence-based advice and recommendations to the Welsh Government on air quality matters in Wales, which is used to underpin the decision making of Welsh Ministers.

The panel informs Welsh Government’s understanding of airborne pollution in Wales, and therefore supports the development of policies to drive improvements in air quality in Wales.

Panel members include multi-disciplinary policy makers, academia and air quality and public health practitioners.

The Welsh Government has a plan to improve air quality and reduce the impacts of air pollution on human health, biodiversity, the natural environment, and our economy.  

The most recent air quality strategy, the Clean Air Plan for Wales: Healthy Air, Healthy Wales, was published in 2020 and sets out actions to improve air quality in Wales.

The Welsh Government says it is committed to developing more granular air quality evidence and supplementing existing information to support policy and legislative development in Wales and the advice of the panel supports this work.

The new chair, Professor Paul Lewis is a genetic toxicologist who specialises in assessing the impacts of air pollution on health. Following a career in academic research at Cardiff University and Swansea University, he now works at Respiratory Innovation Wales and is a Professor Emeritus at Swansea’s Medical School.

He has been the UKRI Clean Air Programme Regional Champion for Wales since  2021, where he helps support efforts to raise awareness of poor air quality by engaging with academia, industry, local government, healthcare, the educational sector and third sector organisations.

He has already been a member of the the Welsh Government Clean Air Advisory Panel since 2020, and chaired sub-groups on pollutant targets and health impacts.

In 2020, he led the Panel’s report into the ‘Impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on air quality in Wales’.

The new chair has also presented the links between air quality and health on behalf of the Welsh Government at public consultation events in preparation for the Environment (Air Quality and Soundscapes) (Wales) Act 2024.

He has been a member of the Welsh Government Air Quality Direction Independent Review Panel since 2018 and sits on the Welsh Parliament Cross Party Group - A Clean Air Act for Wales.