Lords disappointed by Government’s response to light and noise pollution on the UK

6th February 2024

(UK)- House of Lords Science and technology committee has written to the Nature Minister, Rebeca Pow MP, on 31 January, to raise concerns with the Government’s “disappointing response” to its report on the effect of artificial light and noise on human health.

The report, “The neglected pollutants: the effects of light and noise on human health”, was conducted by the committee believing that valuable public health interventions could improve quality of life and NHS pressures in the UK. The committee urges the Government to reconsider its policy on light and noise pollution.

In a statement, the Committee states that it is concerned that the Government has rejected its recommendations on light pollution and the creation of a light policy statement, which would set out the expected roles of different departments in tackling light and noise pollution.

It says: “The Government acknowledges the need of more research to address the significant gaps in understanding of the effects of artificial light, however the recommendation for a research programme was rejected.  The committee asks again if the Government will commit to fund further research into the effects of light pollution on human health, with a view to establishing metrics that can measure the extent and severity of light pollution in the UK.

“There’s a concern that the Government response contains no clear commitment to ensure that local authorities are sufficiently resourced or incentivised to address these issues on noise and light pollution, or to set out any standards to local authorities to help them manage light or noise pollution.

“There is a sense that the Government is not concerned about this policy area, despite the 25 Year Environment Plan’s promise to “ensure that noise and light pollution are managed effectively” – hence the report “the neglected pollutants”.”

The full letter to the Minister is available via the link https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/43158/documents/214669/default/


View of London light pollution at night from space © Vladi333/Shutterstock