Will lower diesel prices counter health concerns about emissions and EU proposals to raise engine standards?

julia poliscanovaAs retailers announce the lowering of diesel prices, Julia Poliscanova, Vehicles Policy Officer for Transport & Environment, writes from Brussels to the Financial Times.

She agrees that a plan by London mayor Boris Johnson to set up an “ultra-low emission zone” is justified by Transport for London’s latest study on the health impacts of air pollution. She points out, however, that the rules actually exempt many of the badly maintained diesel cars responsible for 5,900 deaths a year (“London pollution reports add to pressure for clamp on diesels”, July 13).

transport 2 env logo*Transport & Environment represents around 50 organisations across Europe. Its mission is to promote, at EU and global level, a transport policy based on the principles of sustainable development, minimising harmful impacts on the environment and health and guaranteeing safety and sufficient access for all.

Ms Poliscanova adds that the London Assembly’s environment committee rightly points to the “failure” of EU engine standards: “Euro 6” diesels that are considered clean by Mr Johnson actually emit on average seven times the nitrogen dioxide limit, and in the case of one vehicle, 22 times.

diesel emissions

She recommends Mr Johnson to make the exemption from the charge conditional on Euro 6 diesels meeting the required limit on the road and prevent dirty diesels from poisoning Londoners, ending with a warning:

“Technical discussions currently under way to ensure that Euro testing will in future reflect diesels’ real-driving emissions are being hampered by industry lobbying”.

*Transport & Environment coordinate the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA) which has observer status at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It is a member of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) which has observer status at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Transport & Environment is also recognised as an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. See funding and other information in the EU Transparency Register.  




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