The South Korean government is determined to improve the country’s air quality by setting new targets for eco-friendly vehicles and by keeping under tight observation all diesel-powered cars.
Following Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, the South Korean authorities have speed up their efforts to track down all the over-polluting cars sold in the country. And, last month, the regulators found out that certain diesel vehicles emitted up to 21 times more nitrogen oxides on the roads than in laboratories tests. Therefore, the government now plans to introduce real-world emissions tests from 2017 for all the diesels and, furthermore, it will scrap old diesel-powered cars launched before 2005 by 2019. These measures are part of South Korea’s commitment to lower air pollution levels in the country and to bring down the levels to western European standards within a decade.
In order to achieve this, it also aims to spur the demand for environmentally friendly cars, targeting a 30 percent market share for them by 2020. It would mean a serious boost from the current 2.6 percent of new car sales. “The government acknowledges that fine dust is a grave environmental problem, which poses a threat to people’s safety and health,” the government said in a statement. It also considers to increase the price of diesel fuel, but only after conducting a research and holding a public hearing on the matter. It would shut down or take other measures as well in the case of 10 thermal power plants which were more than 30-years-old.