According to the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, the capital of the United Kingdom should move to lower diesel emissions at a more rapid pace than it has initially envisioned.
The London Assembly’s Environment Committee urged for swift action because the planned diesel emissions cuts are not sufficient to significantly lower the pollution levels that are violating legal limits, according to a recent report. The already envisioned and announced moves, which include a “Ultra Low Emission Zone” that should be established in 2020, should be expanded and initiated faster – with bans on the must polluting diesel cars in certain areas of the city becoming key to lowering emissions. “The drive to diesel cannot be allowed to continue,” said Stephen Knight, the chairman of the committee. “As petrol engines become cleaner with time, it’s becoming clear that diesel emissions are a large part of the problem. We call on the mayor to finally take ownership of the matter in order to help London’s air quality meet legal limits.”
Government agency Public Health England has already attributed thousands of annual deaths in London to increased levels of pollution. The mayor, Boris Johnson, has decided to establish a new, air quality plan that kicked off back in 2010, but is now under pressure to follow European Union rules on pollution after a U.K. Supreme Court ruled in that direction back in April. Diesel-powered cars are under attack almost everywhere in Europe, even in places where they were traditionally outstripping gasoline counterparts, such as France.