National Clean Air Agreement

On 15 December 2015 Australia’s Environment Ministers established the National Clean Air Agreement, over six months ahead of schedule. The Agreement seeks to ensure that the community continues to enjoy clean air and address the impacts on human health and the environment. The Agreement focuses on actions to reduce air pollution and improve air quality through cooperative action between industry and government at the national, state and local level. The Agreement is designed to incorporate a range of existing, new and complementary measures to improve Australia’s air quality.


The Agreement’s initial work plan will see a range of actions taken over the next two years to address priority issues of concern, including reviewing and strengthening air quality monitoring and reporting standards, targeted measures to reduce emissions from key sources of air pollution, improving access to air quality information for communities, and fostering partnerships with industry.


Key actions

On 15 December Environment Ministers also agreed three key initial actions under the Agreement:

  1. the introduction of emission standards for new non-road spark ignition engines and equipment (such as garden equipment and marine outboard motors);
  2. measures to reduce air pollution from wood heaters, including the adoption of new emission and efficiency standards for new wood heaters and sharing best management practices across jurisdictions; and
  3. strengthened ambient air quality reporting standards for particle pollution (PM or Particulate Matter)


Next steps

Environment Ministers have agreed that emission standards for new non-road spark ignition engines will be introduced through Commonwealth legislation, with the aim to introduce this legislation into the Federal Parliament in 2016. State and Territory Governments are working towards adopting standards for new wood heaters and have agreed to share cost effective approaches tailored for local conditions and priorities. All jurisdictions have agreed to implement strengthened standards for particles, as well as move to even tighter standards for annual average and 24-hour PM2.5particles in 2025. Over the next year, jurisdictions will also work collaboratively to establish and implement the National Clean Air Agreement’s priority setting process to help best focus our future efforts where they are needed most to improve our air quality. A copy of the National Clean Air Agreement is available at: Read the National Clean Air Agreement.

Department of Environment, 15 December 2015 ; ;